Coronavirus news UK – £60m support deal 'still on table' for Manchester as Nottinghamshire next to enter Tier 3 talks

HEALTH secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the government's offer of financial support for Greater Manchester businesses "remains on the table".

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, had been offered the support but rejected it as he claimed the region needed a bare minimum of £65million.

It comes as millions of Brits are forced into Tier 3 lockdown in Greater Manchester as Nottinghamshire could be next.

Boris laid out his plans to put Manchester and other areas under tougher restrictions, closing bars and banning household mixing in all settings.

The news comes as there were 241 new coronavirus deaths in the UK yesterday – a massive surge, up 161 compared with Monday.

Follow our coronavirus blog for the latest news and updates

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    'BRUTAL'

    This is the moment a fuming Andy Burnham discovered Manchester was being plunged into a tier three lockdown after days of deadlock.

    The news cameras filmed the moment the Greater Manchester mayor found out that the area was heading into tougher restrictions with just £22million-worth in support.

    It came after a deal for tier three measures collapsed when he apparently refused to accept £60million offered by the Government because he wanted an extra £5million.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Greater Manchester has been given £22million for testing and contact tracing and that the offer of £60million for business support is still on the table if Mr Burnham “picks up the phone”.

    The mayor's expression changed to one of fury as he was was shown a text which revealed the strict new measures would come into force at 0.01am on Friday.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    MEXICO – WEDDING RESULTED IN 100 INFECTED WITH CORONAVIRUS

    More than 100 people are believed to have been infected by the coronavirus at a wedding early this month in the northern Mexico border city of Mexicali, authorities said.

    About 300 people attended the October 3 nuptials of a soap opera actor and the daughter of a businessman, Alonso Oscar Perez Rico, the health secretary of Baja California state said Monday.

    Perez Rico told local media that there were apparently no masks or temperature checks at the event and that the organisers also did not have permission to hold an event of that size during the pandemic.

    He said authorities are investigating whether anyone attended the wedding knowing they had COVID-19 or were infected by the virus.

    In some states in Mexico, knowingly infecting someone with a disease is a crime.

    Photos published in local media show wedding guests dancing together without masks.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    KIDS IN NEED

    Nearly one million children in harsh lockdown will not get free school meals during the holidays, alarming stats reveal.

    Needy kids stuck in Tier 2 and 3 lockdown face a “double whammy” of seeing their parents' jobs plunged into doubt and their lunches snatched away.

    The alarming numbers come as MPs on Wednesday will vote on Marcus Rashford’s bid to extend free school meals during the holidays.

    Labour will seize on the popular footballer’s campaign to try to stick the boot in to Boris Johnson.

    Rashford took to Twitter to urge politicians to put aside their rivalries and back free lunches for poor kids in today's Commons vote.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    DISNEY SAYS CALIFORNIA RULES WILL KEEP DISNEYLAND FOR 'FORESEEABLE FUTURE'

    Officials in California, home to Walt Disney Co's Disneyland, on Tuesday pushed the reopening of large theme parks months down the road, drawing outrage from the industry, which predicted the loss of thousands more jobs.

    California Health Secretary Mark Ghaly said theme parks with a capacity of more than 15,000 visitors must wait to resume business until a county's COVID-19 risk level drops to the lowest tier of “minimal” spread.

    Under California's four-tier scheme, the lowest tier means daily cases of the coronavirus must number less than one per 100,000.

    The decision affects not just Disneyland but Comcast Corp's Universal Studios, Legoland and Knott's Berry Farm, which all closed down in mid-March.

    “These State guidelines will keep us shuttered for the foreseeable future,” Ken Potrock, the Disneyland resort's president, said in a statement.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CONTINUED

    Now it's understood South Yorkshire will agree tier three measures on Wednesday, with other areas also in talks, the Telegraph reports.

    Teesside and the north-east are among the areas that could also face further restrictions.

    Mr Johnson said the country is on a “narrow path” – and that he can't “rule out” further measures.

    However, he is still resisting pressure for a full nationwide 'circuit-breaker' lockdown – and tonight, one of his top academics said it wouldn't be fair.

    England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said during the Downing Street press conference: “Pretty much everywhere in England is now heating up to some extent.

    More on the story here.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    NO TIERS LEFT TO CRY

    Millions of people living in South and West Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire could face stricter tier three measures by this weekend, it's reported.

    Leaders in northern regions have been warned more could follow Manchester into tough new restrictions after days of battling between mayor Andy Burnham and No10.

    Boris Johnson has suggested full-scale regional lockdowns are close as Greater Manchester goes into tier three from midnight tomorrow.

    Local leaders are tonight fuming after failing to broker a financial deal with the Government.

    Mr Burnham discovered negotiations had failed – and instead of the £65million he says the region's businesses need, officials have returned to a starting offer of £22m – as he gave a live press conference this afternoon.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    WEST MIDLANDS MAYOR 'WILL NOT ACCEPT PUBLIC, DRAWN-OUT TIER 3 NEGOTIATIONS'

    West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has said he will not accept “a public, drawn-out negotiation with Government” should Tier 3 restrictions be imposed on the region.

    The former John Lewis managing director said he would be “lobbying vociferously” for financial support if the West Midlands was forced into lockdown.

    Mr Street said there were currently no plans for the region to move into Tier 3, but added that if the number of cases continued to rise then he would “naturally” have to begin dialogue with the Government.

    The majority of the West Midlands is currently under Tier 2, with Birmingham reaching 219.7 cases per 100,000 – a total of 2,509 new cases in the seven days up to October 16.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    HEALTH SECRETARY SUGGESTS 'CONVERSATION' ABOUT REOPENING MERSEYSIDE GYMS

    The Health Secretary has suggested he is willing to talk to MPs about the possibility of gyms reopening in one of the areas of England with the harshest coronavirus restrictions.

    Fitness facilities have been closed in the Liverpool City Region since the area went into Tier 3 last week, however they have been allowed to remain open in Lancashire, which has also since entered the “very high” classification.

    Gyms have also not been mentioned by Government as being one of the things that will have to close in Greater Manchester when it moves into Tier 3 on Friday.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    TIER 3 RESTRICTIONS 'DEEPLY DISAPPOINTING' SAYS LEADER OF MANCHESTER CITY COUNCIL

    Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: “It is deeply disappointing and frustrating that the Government has unilaterally imposed Tier 3 restrictions on Manchester and the city region without the agreement of local leaders.

    “Our stance throughout these negotiations has been that while we recognise the need to get Covid-19 cases down, this has to factor in measures to protect the most vulnerable and balanced with doing all we can to protect the livelihoods of those who will be put out of work through pubs, bars and other licensed premises being forced to close.

    “It simply isn't equitable to treat one harm – Covid-19 infections – by harming thousands of people in the hospitality sector, many of them on minimum wage and driving them into poverty.

    “We put forward a carefully costed and evidenced package of proposals which we felt would have been enough to enable us to address all these issues, but in the end the Government rejected them, having failed to come up with any constructive alternatives.

    “The people of Manchester have been let down but we will continue to press our case for the extra support they need. We stand ready to meet with the Government and engage in meaningful talks whenever they wish to do so.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TO ASK FOR DELAY IN SMOKE ALARM RULE CHANGE

    The Scottish Government is to ask for a 12-month delay in changes to rules regarding smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in homes.

    Legislation which currently applies to private rented property and new-builds is due to come into effect for all homes in Scotland in February.

    However ministers are now suggesting a year-long delay because of practical difficulties likely to face homeowners after the coronavirus pandemic.

    The new standards will mean every home in Scotland must have a smoke alarm fitted in the living room or lounge, and in circulation spaces such as hallways and landings.

    They would also require a heat alarm in every kitchen, with alarms interlinked so they can be heard throughout a property.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    MINISTERS TO CONSIDER BOROUGH FINANCIAL SUPPORT PACKAGES FOR GREATER MANCHESTER

    Matt Hancock is to consider thrashing out financial support borough by borough for Greater Manchester, amid criticism of the “collective failure” to sort a wider deal.

    The Health Secretary was pressed by Conservative MP Mary Robinson (Cheadle) to pursue a “borough by borough approach that reflects our lower case rate” and negotiate a “local authority-specific financial package” for her area.

    Speaking in the Commons, Mr Hancock replied: “I will take away her proposal and talk to (Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick) who's engaged in these talks right now, and her suggestion of a borough by borough approach.

    “We remain open to a GM-wide approach, but so far we haven't been able to get the agreement of the mayor to the support that is there on the table for the businesses of Greater Manchester.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    SHEFFIELD CITY REGION IN TALKS ABOUT COVID ALERT LEVEL

    A spokesman for the Sheffield City Region said talks about the coronavirus alert level for South Yorkshire were continuing.

    The spokesman said: “Mayor Dan Jarvis, the leaders of South Yorkshire's local authorities and the Government have been in extensive and constructive talks over the coronavirus alert level for the region.

    “These talks continue as all sides seek to agree a plan which will protect lives, jobs and our NHS.

    “Full details will be announced as soon as the restrictions and guidance are confirmed.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    UK GOVERNMENT COULD TAKE CONTROL OF TRANSPORT FOR LONDON UNLESS DEAL REACHED SAYS FINANCIAL TIMES

    The UK government has threatened to seize control of Transport for London (TfL) if mayor Sadiq Khan fails to reach a deal proposed by ministers, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

    Transport secretary Grant Shapps had written a letter to Khan earlier this month listing several conditions in return for any financial rescue package, the newspaper reported.

    According to the report, Shapps proposed a six-month funding deal to March 2021 dubbed “the H2 deal” ahead of a longer-term settlement.

    TfL's income was down by 90% because people avoided public transportation at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic between March and July.

    It was bailed out by the central government when its finances came under pressure in the crisis.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    CALIFORNIA SET STRICT GUIDELINES FOR REOPENING OF LARGE THEME PARKS

    Officials in California, home to Walt Disney Co's Disneyland, said on Tuesday that large theme parks cannot reopen until a county's COVID-19 risk level drops to the lowest tier of “minimal” spread.

    Disneyland unions earlier had asked the state to let the resort, located in Anaheim, in Orange County, open when the county reached “moderate” spread.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    GREATER MANCHESTER TIER 3 'HUGE BLOW' FOR HOSPITALITY, SAYS TRADE BODY

    Greater Manchester being subjected to harsher coronavirus restrictions has been labelled a “huge blow” by hospitality bosses.

    Reacting to the news, UKHospitality boss Kate Nicholls said: “This is another huge blow for our sector and a very bitter disappointment for hospitality businesses in Manchester.

    “These businesses are either operating under extreme restrictions or closed altogether and this will only increase the pressure.

    “We need a practical and workable package of support for the whole of Manchester's hospitality sector in order to keep these businesses afloat and jobs alive. Jobs, once lost, are not always easily revived and businesses closed not easily reopened.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    HEALTH MINISTER CALLED MANCHESTER SUPPORT 'EXTREMELY GENEROUS'

    Health minister Lord Bethell called the financial support offered to Manchester “extremely generous”.

    Responding to Labour's Baroness Thornton, following a statement in the Lords on Covid-19, Lord Bethell said: “I cannot hide the fact that the increase in prevalence in Manchester is a source of enormous sadness.

    “But can I reassure her that the extra measures that have been taken in Manchester have been accompanied by the offer of extremely generous financial measures.

    “Financial measures that have been accepted by Lancashire, financial measures that have been accepted by Blackpool, but not, it seems, so far, by Manchester.

    “We hope very much indeed that Manchester will remain at the table – the negotiations being undertaken by the Government are generous and I hope open-hearted.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    HUNGARIAN JUSTICE MINISTER TESTS POSITIVE FOR VIRUS

    Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga announced on Tuesday that she had tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild respiratory symptoms.

    “As of today, I am in quarantine at home with my family, I work from home and will not attend the government meeting,” Varga said on her official Facebook page.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    MORE RESTRICTIONS MAY BE NEEDED SAYS HANCOCK

    Matt Hancock added that more restrictions may be needed in Nottinghamshire.

    Responding to Tory Tom Randall (Gedling), who raised concerns about rising rates in the county, Mr Hancock replied: “The number of cases in Nottingham and increasingly across Nottinghamshire are worrying.

    “Nottinghamshire went into level two last week and talks are ongoing about what more might be needed. And I praise the people of Nottinghamshire for what they're doing to try to slow the spread of this virus.

    “It may be that more needs to be done, we will be driven entirely by the data and working closely with the local authorities.”

    Tory Dame Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham) asked if 60-minute coronavirus tests being offered at Heathrow Airport could be used to allow care home visits by relatives.

    Mr Hancock replied: “The answer is yes, we absolutely want to use this sort of testing as it becomes more widely available to do exactly the sort of thing that (Dame Cheryl) says.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    FRANCE AGAIN SEES MORE THAN 20,000 CORONAVIRUS INFECTIONS IN A DAY

    France again reported more than 20,000 new confirmed coronavirus infections in a day, a total of 20,468, after the daily tally dipped to 13,243 on Monday.

    Last week, France saw five days with more than 20,000 new cases per day and two days with more than 30,000. The total now stands at 930,745 and looks set to jump above the 1 million mark before the end of this week if the trend continues.

    The health ministry also reported 262 new deaths, including a multi-day batch of 100 from retirement homes, pushing the cumulative death toll to 33,885.

    The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose by 797 to 12,458, the biggest single-day increase since early April. The number of people in intensive care rose by 78 to 2,177.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS IN GREATER MANCHESTER ARE HIGHER NOW THAN END OF MARCH SAYS HANCOCK

    Matt Hancock added that daily hospital admissions in Greater Manchester are higher now than they were at the end of March.

    He said: “So we must act where the virus is spreading. In the parts of the country where it is spreading the fastest it is our sombre duty to take action necessary to protect people's lives and protect the NHS.”

    Mr Hancock added: “It has been clear for some days now that further action is needed across parts of England.”

    He continued: “In Greater Manchester there have been more coronavirus infections already in October than in July, August and September combined.

    “The average daily hospital admissions in Greater Manchester are now higher than they were on March 26 and there are now more Covid-19 patients in Greater Manchester hospitals than in the whole of the South West and the South East combined.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    U.S CDC REPORTS 219,499 DEATHS FROM VIRUS

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday reported 8,188,585 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 60,061 from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 513 to 219,499.

    The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on Oct. 19 versus its previous report a day earlier.

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    VIRUS 'REMAINS PERILOUS THREAT' SAYS HEALTH SECRETARY

    Matt Hancock said the virus “remains a perilous threat”.

    Making a statement in the Commons, the Health Secretary told MPs: “Yesterday Europe recorded its seven millionth coronavirus case.

    “Deaths in Germany and Italy have doubled in seven days, and here, today's ONS statistics show that weekly deaths linked to coronavirus have risen to their highest level since the start of July.

    “Cases among the over-60s continue to rise and as deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam made clear earlier, it is the penetration of coronavirus into older age groups which gives the NHS the greatest cause for concern.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    GOVERNMENT LOOKING AT HOW IT MAY REVIEW CARE HOME VISITING RESTRICTIONS – PM

    The Government is looking at how it may review restrictions to allow people to visit their elderly relatives in care homes, the Prime Minister said.

    Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference the situation is “absolutely wretched” for people who have been unable to see their loved ones during the pandemic.

    A member of the public – Vicky from Lancashire, who has only seen her grandmother once since March – asked Mr Johnson if there is an opportunity for visiting restrictions to be reviewed.

    He responded: “We do have to prevent the spread of the virus in care homes – you remember what happened in the early part of the year, so we have had to take some steps to protect elderly residents from the possibility of infection by visitors.

    “But we are certainly looking at what we can do to review the circumstances that might allow people to visit their elderly relatives in extreme circumstances, and on

    compassionate grounds, because, you know, I can see how absolutely wretched it is and I think many, many people across the country have now had experience of this problem.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    SPAIN CONSIDERS CURFEWS TO FIGHT NEW VIRUS WAVE

    The Spanish government is considering new restrictions, including possible curfews, in hard-hit regions like Madrid to tackle a new wave of coronavirus contagion, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Tuesday.

    The country, which has Western Europe's highest case load, is likely to surpass one million infections this week and several regions have toughened their coronavirus restrictions in the past few days.

    “We have very tough weeks ahead, winter is coming,” Illa told reporters.

    “The second wave is no longer a threat, it is a reality in all of Europe.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    COVID MEASURES MIGHT NEED TO BE TIGHTENED AS DEATHS RISE IN ENGLAND SAYS OFFICIAL

    COVID measures in England might need to be tightened and deaths are likely to increase as a second wave of coronavirus infections in England picks up pace, deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said on Tuesday.

    “We're running now with the brakes partially on and the 'R' (reproduction) is 1.3 to 1.5 … so we can't take the brake off on this and we may have to push on the pedal a little harder to get it back under control,” Van Tam said at a news conference.

    “Do I expect the trend in deaths to continue upwards? Yes. Unfortunately I do.”

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