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Pubs in Manchester will be closed for at least 28 days from Friday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally forced the city into a Tier 3 lockdown in order to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Speaking at a press conference at Downing Street on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed Greater Manchester will move to the "very high" coronavirus alert level.
"This evening, informed by the data we have just seen, I can announce that Greater Manchester will move to the Very High alert level," the PM told a news conference on Tuesday.
As with other Tier 3 areas, all pubs and bars will have to close for at least 28 days unless serving substantial meals.
In addition, betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres, and soft play areas must also shut.
The new measures will force the closure of 1,800 pubs, 140 wine bars, 277 betting shops and 12 casinos, according to the real estate adviser Altus Group.
It is also illegal for anyone living in a Tier 2 or 3 lockdown area to have casual sex with someone from a different household.
The government has confirmed that the Tier 3 measures will be imposed on Greater Manchester from 12.01am on Friday, October 23.
All 10 boroughs will face the toughest set of lockdown restrictions.
The Prime Minister was also asked how many areas would need to be under the highest tier of restrictions before a national lockdown is imposed.
In response to the question by a member of the public – Jake from Chester – Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press briefing: "What we are trying to avoid is a national lockdown at all.
"We don't rule anything out but the difficulty is that the distribution of the virus this time round is very uneven by comparison with March and April.
"And so the right response is, as many other countries are doing, to go to this local and regional approach."
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Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick had earlier in the day said discussions with Greater Manchester had failed to produce a deal because Greater Manchester is 'unwilling to take action required'.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said £65 million was the minimum sum needed to prevent a “winter of real hardship” under Tier 3 restrictions but the Government refused to accept this and walked away from negotiations.
Talks have been going on for most of the day between the government and local leaders, including mayor Andy Burnham.
Mr Jenrick put pressure on the region by announcing late on Monday night that leaders had until midday to come up with a solutions.
But this deadline passed without a deal being struck.
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The PM spoke directly to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham on the phone at lunchtime on Tuesday.
Local leaders in Greater Manchester have been locked in talks for 10 days with officials over introducing stricter restrictions in order to curb coronavirus from spreading.
They have been calling for more financial support for businesses which will be forced to shut under the "higher" alert level.
Being moved to Tier 3 means the area’s 2.8million residents are to face the highest Covid-19 restrictions.
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A deadline was set for midday today, with ministers claiming a failure to reach an agreement meant the Government had no choice but to act.
Business minister Nadhim Zahawi said £22million had been offered to the area, equivalent to £8 per person.
He said there would be “additional support”.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick claimed there were now "more Covid-19 patients in Greater Manchester hospitals than in the whole of the South West and South East combined”.
In a statement on Monday night, he warned a failure to reach agreement by midday on Tuesday would mean he would have to "advise the Prime Minister that, despite our best endeavours, we've been unable to reach agreement".
But Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham accused ministers of acting provocatively.
He said he would "try to be positive and respond, and see if we can find a way forward" despite the "slightly provocative move”.
Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese previously said: “Clearly if Government imposes Tier 3 – and I hope that won’t happen – we will clearly need to comply with that.”
People in Tier 3 regions can only meet others in public outdoor places and must obey the rule of six.
Journeys should be minimised and people should work from home where possible.
- Boris Johnson
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