Barrow-in-Furness moved to Tier Two of coronavirus alert

Matt Hancock
X The Business Desk

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Barrow-in Furness has been placed into Tier Two of the Government’s pandemic alert system.

But talks on whether to move Greater Manchester and Lancashire into Tier Three, from high risk status to very high risk, are continuing.

Barrow-in-Furness is one of the worst affected regions where infection rates have been rising faster than most other areas.

London, and the neighbouring county of Essex, have also been placed into Tier Two from midnight tomorrow (Friday, October 16). The new level of alert bans household mixing indoors.

Latest coronavirus infection rates for England show that 89,874 new infection cases had been identified during the week to October 7, an increase of 64% on the previous week’s figures.

There are also currently 1,500 COVID-19 patients in hospitals around the North West, and 135 on ventilators.

Announcing the decision to place Barrow-in-Furness into Tier Two in the Commons today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We must take firm and balanced decisions to keep this virus under control.

“The virus comes down slower than it goes up,” adding “local action is one of the best weapons we have.”

Greater Manchester and Lancashire are expected to be moved into Tier Three, joining the Liverpool City Region, but leaders from Greater Manchester, including the hospitality industry, are opposing the move without what they see as proper levels of compensation for individuals and businesses affected by closures.

They also dispute the science behind the Government’s proposals to increase the region’s risk level, which they argue could decimate its hospitality sector.

Tier Three demands that pubs, gyms, casinos and adult gaming centres have to close until further notice. The measures will last for at least six months, reviewed on a monthly basis.

Talks are currently taking place between leaders of Greater Manchester and Downing Street and an announcement on the Government’s decision, expected at 11.30am today, is now due to be announced this afternoon.