Shops and gyms to be allowed to reopen – but are Altrincham’s pubs and restaurants going to be takeaway-only for Christmas?

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm today that shops and gyms will be allowed to reopen when lockdown ends next week – but there’s set to be bad news for Altrincham’s pubs and restaurants.

Johnson will set out the detail of a return to a three-tier system this afternoon, to take effect from December 2nd.

It’s good news for non-essential shops, who will be able to reopen for the vital Christmas run-in.

But according to several of today’s newspapers, a new toughened Tier 3 will only allow pubs and restaurants to offer takeaway in what would be a hugely damaging blow for Altrincham’s hospitality industry.

Although it’s not yet been confirmed which tier Greater Manchester will be placed under once lockdown ends, it’s certain to be Tier 3.

The latest infection rates show that numbers are falling sharply across the region, with Trafford’s rate down 31% week on week to 256.6, now the lowest in Greater Manchester.

But other parts of the region are well above the national average – Rochdale and Oldham are still in the high 400s.

Speaking on the Today programme earlier on, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the news would be “devastating” for the industry.

He said: “I am worried about what I am hearing this morning. It seems that a toughened Tier 3 could be devastating for the hospitality industry and will hit cities and the city economy very, very hard indeed.

“They seem to be going too far before Christmas to allow too much over Christmas and that will lead to a huge loss of hospitality businesses, which I would say is too big a price to pay.

“To close all hospitality businesses in Tier 3 areas – that will be large parts of the North – that will be devastating for many of those businesses. They will not survive that.”

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