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Thu 17th Dec 2020 - Industry bosses blast decision to keep north in tier three as more parts of south east see highest restrictions
Industry bosses blast decision to keep north of England in tier three as more parts of south east see highest restrictions: Industry bosses have blasted the decision to keep the north of England in tier three as further parts of the south east saw the highest level of restrictions imposed. In the review of tiers by the government, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Surrey (with the exception of Waverley), Hastings and Rother, Portsmouth, Havant and Gosport will move up to tier three on Saturday (19 December). Bristol and North Somerset will move down from tier three to tier two while Herefordshire will move from tier two to tier one. But the cities of Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle will remain in the highest level of restrictions despite seeing case rates coming down in many areas. Sacha Lord, night-time adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “I am disappointed in the decision to keep Greater Manchester in tier three. We had an extremely strong argument to be moved into tier two, with lowering infection rates across the region. However, yet again we are stuck in limbo with no clear guidance on how to escape. I’m gutted not only for hospitality operators across Greater Manchester, but for those across all regions who have been moved or resigned to stay in tier three. Together with greater financial aid to prevent these businesses going under, I continue to call on the government to show us the evidence that merits their closure. Christmas is the busiest time of year for everyone who works in food and beverage. Not just the bars and restaurants but suppliers, security staff, musicians and hundreds of thousands of others. They now face a Christmas of upset, worry and stress. The health and safety of the public must come first, but the closure of pubs, restaurants and bars will not stop the virus spreading. It only serves to push people to socialise indoors, where there are no covid regulations, no hourly cleaning policies, no social distancing. Looking at the current evidence, the closure of hospitality could in fact result in more infections.” Night Time Industries Association chief executive Michael Kill said: “As even more areas have been dragged into the tightest covid restrictions, with limited changes to the current restrictions, particularly in the north, the government has compounded an already critical position within the night-time economy and hospitality sector. Thousands of businesses and employees have supported the government’s public health campaign against covid, creating safe, regulated environments for people to socialise. This financial burden and commitment has been recognised only in lip-service, with insubstantial support measures to repay confidence in the sector. The current financial support is grossly disproportionate to operating costs and the current restrictions express a level of wilful ignorance: they are a policy decision, without scientific basis or consideration for the hardest hit sectors. This deserves nothing less than anger and outrage from operators and businesses. The sector has suffered horrendously since the start of the pandemic and is continually bearing the burden, so that other sectors are able to open during the festive period.” British Institute of Innkeeping chief executive Steve Alton tweeted: “With the vast majority of our nation’s pubs now closed, realistic support must be rapidly put in place to safeguard their survival. December trading would have provided some resilience and that has been taken away from them.” Former Manchester United footballer Gary Neville, who co-owns GG Hospitality, tweeted: “It released five key criteria two weeks ago to measure tiers by. Manchester is lower than many tier two areas were two weeks ago. Today the government ignored its own criteria. The biggest set of charlatans to be ever elected.” Loungers chairman Alex Reilley tweeted: “So I think we’ve just gained nine sites but lost 15.” Tim Foster, co-founder of four-strong Yummy Pub Co, tweeted: “One of the most dangerous places in the UK – The Wiremill. It must be closed. Less than a mile south, it would remain open. You drive past one industrial estate, a church and 20 houses to get there. No words.” Health secretary Matt Hancock told MPs: “We must keep suppressing this virus. These are always the most difficult months. We’ve come so far and must not blow it now. Across the world, cases are rising once more. No one wants tougher restrictions than necessary, but where they are necessary they must be put in place.” Here are the tier categories across England that will be in operation from Saturday (19 December): Tier one (medium alert) South east – Isle of Wight; south west – Cornwall, Isles of Scilly. West Midlands – Herefordshire. Tier two (high alert) North west – Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Warrington and Cheshire. Yorkshire – York and North Yorkshire. West Midlands – Worcestershire, and Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin. East Midlands – Rutland and Northamptonshire. East of England – Suffolk; Cambridgeshire (not including Peterborough); Norfolk; Essex areas Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford; and Milton Keynes. South east – East Sussex (not Hastings or Rother), West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, Waverley, Hampshire (except the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Havant and Gosport), Southampton, Oxfordshire. South west – Bristol, North Somerset, South Somerset, Somerset West and Taunton, Mendip and Sedgemoor, Bath and North East Somerset, Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Swindon, Devon. Tier three (very high alert) North east – Tees Valley Combined Authority: Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington; North East Combined Authority: Sunderland, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, North Tyneside, County Durham, Northumberland. North west – Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Blackpool, Blackburn with Darwen. Yorkshire and The Humber – The Humber, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire. West Midlands – Birmingham and Black Country, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. East Midlands – Derby and Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Leicester and Leicestershire, Lincolnshire. London – all 32 boroughs plus the City of London. South east – Essex areas Basildon, Braintree, Brentwood, Castle Point, Chelmsford, Epping Forest, Harlow, Maldon, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock; Hertfordshire; Berkshire; Buckinghamshire; Bedfordshire; Peterborough; Surrey (not Waverley); East Sussex areas Hastings and Rother; Hampshire areas Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant; Kent and Medway. South west –South Gloucestershire. The rules governing each tier include: tier one (medium) – follow the rule of six if meeting indoors or outdoors; pubs and restaurants to shut at 11pm with last orders at 10pm; people encouraged to minimise travel and work from home where possible; spectators allowed at sports events and live performances (limited numbers – 4,000 outdoors/1,000 indoors or 50% capacity, whichever is smaller); personal care, including hairdressing, allowed. Tier two (high): no household mixing indoors; rule of six will apply outdoors; pubs and restaurants to shut at 11pm with last orders at 10pm; alcohol only served as part of “substantial meal”; spectators allowed at sports events and live performances (limited numbers – 2,000 outdoors/1,000 indoors or 50% capacity, whichever is smaller); personal care, including hairdressing, allowed. Tier three (very high): No household mixing indoors or outdoors in hospitality venues or private gardens; rule of six applies in outdoor public spaces, like parks; pubs/restaurants closed except for delivery and takeaway; indoor entertainment venues closed; guidance against travelling in and out of the area; personal care, including hairdressing, allowed.

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