LONDON – The British government will announce new restrictions on business and socializing on Monday, with rates of infection in major New England cities. But pubs, rest restaurants, renters and other businesses are pushing back, arguing they are not to blame for the resurgence.
In severely affected cities, including Liverpool and Manchester, local authorities are seeking financial assistance for businesses that have been ordered to close, and details of a strategy to exit the local lockdown.
Following the summer fall, cases of coronavirus are on the rise in Europe as winter approaches, with the north-west and northeast England seeing the highest increases.
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Under the new measures, areas of England would be placed in “tires”, classified as moderate, high or very high risk, and placed under restrictions of varying severity.
Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotherham said his city would be placed in the highest class.
“We were told we were going to Tier 3 – no IFS, no boots,” he said.
Rotherham, mayor of the Liverpool region of north-west England, said local officials had not yet agreed with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government on what the specific sanctions would be. Johnson will provide more details later in the House Comm.
Businesses, including gyms and pubs, are expected to close, but restaurants are being persuaded to remain open. Rotherham said cities also want to know what the exit strategy will be from the measures, which will be reviewed in a month’s time.
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Stephen Powys, medical director of the National Health Service in England, said more people were currently hospitalized with the virus than in the country that went into lockdown in March.
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He said three temporary COVID-19 hospitals in the north of England that had been moth-eaten due to an outbreak during the summer were set to admit patients once again in the coming weeks.
The deputy chief medical officer of England, Jonathan Van-Tame, said on Monday that the rate of infection was highest in the north of England, with cases rising across the country.
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“This epidemic has clearly gained momentum before the first wave in the north of England and it is almost certainly related to the gradual level of this disease, and certainly to the northwest, until it has never gone down. They were in the south, like summer, “Van-Tame told a news conference.
But, he added: “This is now a nationwide phenomenon.”
Liverpool has one of the highest rates of infection in the country, with more than 600 cases per 100,000 people.
Bar and restaurant owners have questioned whether they are the main source of transmission, and say the government has not shared evidence to support the claim.
Manchester City Council leader Richard Lees said data from the city’s public health officials “shows that there is no particular link between the transition from bars and rest restaurants to rent and seaweed.”
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But Kumlum Sample, a professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool and a member of the government’s scientific advisory group for emergencies, said: ”
“Alcohol and people’s behavioral factors are known to result in less flexibility in following the rules, let’s put it mildly,” Sample told the BBC. “And so I can understand why this move is happening.”
The government has announced a support package to pay two-thirds of the companies ’employees’ salaries, which is said to be shutting down, but many in the pub and restaurant sector say it is not enough to save the already struggling businesses.
England is already under national sanctions, including a 10 am curfew on pubs and restaurants and a ban on gatherings of more than six people. There are strict measures in some areas, such as a ban on merging into homes. The rest of the UK is the same and sometimes has stricter restrictions. The pub has been closed for 16 days to suppress the outbreak in Scotland’s two largest cities Glasgow and Edinburgh.
20 2020 Canadian Press
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