Greater Manchester will be placed under the highest level of restrictions once lockdown ends next week.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has just confirmed in a statement to the House of Commons that Greater Manchester will face Tier 3 restrictions – which apply to areas “with a very high or very rapidly rising level of infections” – from Wednesday December 2nd.
He said: “We must remain vigilant. There are still 16,570 people in hospital with coronavirus.
“As tempting as it may be we cannot simply flick a switch and return to normal. We must keep suppressing the virus.”
Other Tier 3 areas include Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds and Blackpool, but Liverpool and London are in Tier 2.
That’s despite the latest data from Public Health England showing that infection rates are tumbling in every borough in Greater Manchester.
And it’s a particularly bitter pill to swallow for Trafford businesses, including those in Altrincham, with the rate in Trafford down week-on-week by 50% to 170.9 cases per 100,000 people, the lowest of any Greater Manchester borough.
Here are the key Tier 3 restrictions that people in Altrincham now face:
- No mixing between households indoors, in private gardens or in most outdoor places
- No socialising in groups of more than 6 in public outdoor spaces including parks, countryside or a public garden
- Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars must close but can continue to trade by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
- Hotels, B&Bs, campsites and guest houses must close
- Indoor entertainment venues must close, including indoor play centres, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, cinemas, theatres and concert halls
- Leisure and sports facilities can stay open but group exercise classes should not go ahead
- No indoor or outdoor events, with the exception of drive-in events
- Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there
- Wedding receptions banned
- Funerals can go ahead but with a maximum of 30 people
- Wedding ceremonies can go ahead but with a maximum of 15 people
- Avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, or to receive medical treatment
Hancock said the five tests on which the decision over tiers were made included case rates, cases among the over-60s, the rate at which the infection is rising, the positivity rate and the pressure on the local NHS.
He said: “I know how tough this is, especially for places that have been in restrictions for a long time like Leicester and Greater Manchester.”
He said the tiers would be reviewed in a fortnight and reviewed again regularly thereafter.