Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett has signed a statement from every Greater Manchester leader in response and defiance of the Government’s new tier system, and in the hope to avoid having Salford placed in tier 3.
Salford, at time of writing, is in ‘tier 2‘, meaning ‘high’, and continues the rule of no visiting other households and keeping to the rule of six.
In the statement, released this morning, the leaders wrote: “We are clear: the health of the people in the city-region is paramount and our primary focus continues to be on driving down the rates of Covid infection.
“Back in July, we took the difficult decision to agree with the Government’s request for additional restrictions.
“Our communities have been living with this patiently for months now, with no indoor mixing between households, and some of our businesses remaining shut for longer than in the rest of England.
At the time of writing, Salford has had 4,901 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with steady daily increases.
The government released its new tier system earlier this week, placing much of the North under ‘tier 2’ or ‘high’ restrictions.
The only place in the country currently under tier 3 restrictions, or ‘very high’, is Liverpool.
In addition, the statement advocates for additional measures to curb the current covid infection rate whilst keeping businesses as open as possible:
“Give local partners (including Greater Manchester Police and Local Authorities) the power to enforce Covid safety through the immediate closure of ANY premises found to be in breach of regulation and a power to close premises immediately where there is a significant risk to public health.
“Bring the cut-off time for off-sales into line with, or earlier than, the 10pm curfew.
“Given the Parliamentary vote to keep the 10pm curfew it is imperative that the curfew and the cut off time for off-sales of alcohol from any shops are the same or staggered. We believe the current 10pm curfew is probably too early and having everyone trying to get home at the same time is unhelpful as there is insufficient public transport to clear people from the city and town centres in a safe and Covid secure way.
“We propose this is set at 11pm which allows for a more managed exit as a number of customers will leave before this time in any case. We reiterate the need to stop sales of alcohol in other outlets at the same time to avoid the issues we have seen where people just go straight to supermarkets and off licenses to purchase more alcohol.
“to ban the sale of fireworks and the holding of any bonfires on public or private land in the next 4 week period.
“Provide for the enhancement of locally controlled Testing to enable targeting of known or emerging points of transmission.
“Ensure the proper resourcing of an effective programme of locally directed Track, Trace and Isolate activity to promote necessary self-isolation.
“We remain very concerned that some support and funding that are vital to all areas to reduce the Covid transmission rate are not available to Tier 1 and 2.
“We believe that’s a mistake.
“It should be offered to everyone as part of a proactive prevention plan. We would urge Government to rethink this.
Read the full statement here.