After negotiations with local leaders broke down, the Government has now announced that Greater Manchester will be forced to Tier 3 of the new Covid Alert level system – which means all pubs and bars not serving food must shut across the region from Friday.
The new “very high” risk status also means a host of new rules for the public to follow – including no mixing of households in indoor settings and also in most outdoor settings too.
You are still allowed to meet other households in public outdoor settings like parks and beaches as long as you follow the Rule of Six.
The new rules come into force after a breakdown of talks between local leaders and the government – with a stalemate over the financial package being offered to the region’s businesses to deal with the impact of the tough restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson later confirmed he would press ahead with raising the covid level to Tier 3 in Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs without the agreement of local leaders.
It could mean over 1,800 pubs and bars that don’t serve “substantial meals” across Greater Manchester will be forced to close as of midnight on Thursday as part of the new restrictions. Restaurants can remain open, but can only serve alcohol with a meal.
What are the new rules for Tier 3?
The baseline restrictions for areas placed into Tier 3 are below:-
- You must not socialise with people who are not part of your household or part of your social bubble in any indoor setting or any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events.
- You can still meet people in certain outdoors settings, as long as you are in a group of no more than six, in public outdoor spaces such as a park or beach, or outdoor sport courts and facilities.
- Pubs and bars must close – but restaurants and pubs serving food can stay open. However they can only serve alcohol as part of a meal.
- Travel outside of the local area is advised against, but not made illegal at this stage.
- You must avoid staying overnight in an area, not in Tier 3, and people from other tiers are advised not to stay overnight in Tier 3 areas.
- Weddings can still go ahead with up to 15 guests, but wedding receptions are not permitted.
- Funerals can be attended by up to 30 guests and up to 15 at wakes and related ceremonies.
- Retail and schools and universities will remain open.
- In each area, the Government will work with local authorities on any additional measures that need to be taken. It could include further restrictions on hospitality, leisure and personal care settings.
What are the extra rules enforced in Greater Manchester?
As well as the above baseline restrictions, it was announced that the following local restrictions would apply to the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester.
- Casinos, betting shops, bingo halls, adult gaming centres and soft play centres must close from 00.01 on Friday, October 23rd.