Boris Johnson to force Greater Manchester into coronavirus lockdown after local leaders reject new financial offer

  • Boris Johnson's government is set to impose tough new coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Greater Manchester after local leaders rejected their latest offer of financial support.
  • Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham declined the government's offer of an additional £60 million in support, falling short of his previous demands of £75 million and £65 million.
  • UK Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said both sides had failed to come to an agreement.
  • The government is now set to follow through on its threat to impose the restrictions without an improved financial offer.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to force Greater Manchester into the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions after the UK government failed to come to an agreement with local leaders about the size of financial support required for the area.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and other local representatives had initially demanded £75 million in support, which they later reduced to £65 million but were offered just £60 million by the government.

Johnson's government then reportedly withdrew its offer, meaning that it is now set to follow through on its threat to impose the restrictions on the city region, the BBC reported.

UK Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick on Tuesday said in a statement: "I'm disappointed that, despite recognizing the gravity of the situation, the mayor [of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham] has been unwilling to take the action that is required to get the spread of the virus under control in Greater Manchester and reach an agreement with the government.

"I have therefore advised the prime minister that these discussions have concluded without an agreement."

Prime Minister Johnson will hold a press conference later today to confirm the new restrictions due to be imposed on Manchester. They are set to be in place for at least 28 days. Burnham will deliver his own press conference on Tuesday afternoon following unsuccessful talks with the UK government, according to reports.

The new rules for Manchester mean that people there banned from meeting members of other households indoors.

All pubs not serving substantial meals, betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres, and soft play areas will be forced to closed. Schools will remain open, however.

Manchester joins nearby Liverpool and Lancashire in the UK's most serious tier of local lockdown restrictions, with the northwest of England continuing to one of the worst-affected regions in the country for new cases of the coronavirus and hospitalizations.

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