The region’s night time economy adviser, Sacha Lord, has announced he has started a judicial review into the measures being imposed on the hospitality sector. Mr Lord said: “We understand the public health need but fair financial support is crucial for those most severely affected and at risk of poverty and I am acutely aware of the disappointment felt both from our leaders and across the city region with the Government’s decision yesterday.
“I am heartbroken that pubs and bars across Greater Manchester will now be forced to close without any evidence that this will bring transmissions down.
“They have accepted quick-fire lockdowns and spent thousands implementing the Government’s own recommended Covid-secure measures.
“This recent move will not only cause severe mental anguish and devastate the livelihoods of the operators themselves, but will severely affect the wider night time ecology.
“Taxi drivers, suppliers, performers, musicians and countless freelancers will all now face terrible hardship without any rationale, as will restaurants who will see trade drop off extensively.”
Coronavirus map LIVE: Legal fightback against Boris’s Tier 3 lockdown rules launched
Coronavirus map UK
He added that the closures would lead to an increase in socialising in houses “where we know transmission rates are prevalent”.
Mr Lord said: “Despite our calls, we have not been shown any clear, tangible scientific evidence to merit these closures.
“In fact, the only evidence we have seen is from Public Health England, whose own data has shown hospitality venues attributed to just three per cent of Covid transmissions in the past week.
“It is my belief that this new lockdown will recklessly destroy our night time economy.”
Greater Manchester will be subjected to Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions from Friday following more than a week of failed negotiations on financial support between the Government and local leaders.
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5.30pm update: Rayner facing calls to apologise over claims of ‘scum’ insult
Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner is facing calls to apologise after she was accused of calling a Conservative MP “scum” during a Commons debate on coronavirus.
Tory MP Chris Clarkson said the insult was made after he insinuated that members of the shadow front bench believe the pandemic is a “good crisis” to exploit.
Fellow Tory MP Katherine Fletcher accused Ms Rayner of having “shamed Manchester, shamed this House”, adding: “She should apologise.”
Tensions in the Commons were high following the collapse of talks between the Government and Greater Manchester leaders over a financial package for the region after it entered Tier 3 restrictions.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn has tested positive for the coronavirus, the health ministry said
4.20pm update: Italy reports new daily record of coronavirus cases
Italy has reported 15,199 new coronavirus over the past 24 hours – a record daily jump.
The country’s death toll has increased by 127.
4.10pm update: German health minister tests positive for coronavirus
German Health Minister Jens Spahn has tested positive for the coronavirus, the health ministry said.
Mr Spahn, who is suffering from cold symptoms, is in quarantine at home.
All people he has been in contact with have been informed.
Police pictured in South Yorkshire, where residents are facing Tier 3 measures
3.15pm update: Two to three weeks to see if Tier 3 working – JBC director general
Dr Clare Gardiner, director general of the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), told MPs on the Science and Technology and Health and Social Care committees it would take two to three weeks for the data to come through showing if the highest level of coronavirus restrictions are working in a region.
She said: “We would expect to see indications in the data coming through within two to three weeks of interventions being established.
“The incubation period for people who are infected now is about 10 days and that is why there’s a lag on some of the indications.”
2.21pm update: Powers allowing ‘state officials’ to use force for self-isolation under review
Ministers are “urgently reviewing” COVID-19 powers which enable government officials to use “reasonable force” to make people self-isolate.
Conservative former Home Office minister Mark Harper said lives could be put at risk by allowing untrained people to use such force.
Health minister Edward Argar told MPs the powers have not been used yet but they are under review.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Harper said enforcement is important and welcomed regulations to put the requirement to self-isolate in law.
But he warned: “I have grave concerns about the powers to use reasonable force that have been given to state officials other than police officers who are simply not trained to use those powers safely.
“As a former Home Office minister I think this risks the safety and lives of individuals.”
Micheal Martin admitted he did not know about a tracing system blunder until the media reported it
1.06pm update: How long with Manchester be in Tier 3?
Manchester will enter Tier 3 at the end of the week following an explosive to-and-fro between Government officials and Labour Mayor Andy Burnham on local funding.
The row has left Mr Burnham with little choice but to accept the stringent measures.
The region has already spent months on Tier 2 rules, and now faces weeks of uncertainty.
1.02pm update: Taoiseach admits he did not know about tracing system blunder until media reported it
Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said he only became aware of a breakdown in the contact tracing system when it was reported in the media.
Mr Martin said he received a text message on Tuesday informing him of the issue with a link to the article where it was first reported.
The HSE is to ask around 2,500 people who received a positive COVID-19 test at the weekend to alert their own close contacts, as reported by the Irish Times.
Speaking during Leaders’ Questions on Wednesday, Mr Martin said: “I got a text last evening which included the Irish Times article, that’s when I first knew.
“I wasn’t informed of this operational measure that the HSE undertook in response to the extraordinary demands they were under at the weekend in the context of the community tracing.”
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said it was “extremely alarming” that the situation has emerged “on the eve of another lockdown”.
Andrew Rosindell, right, has been sacked as a trade envoy over his COVID rebellion
12.01pm update: COVID vaccine could be ready be end of winter, says expert
There is very little chance that coronavirus will be eradicated, but a vaccine could be available by the end of the winter, a leading expert has warned.
Epidemiologist Professor John Edmunds, who is part of the Government’s scientific advisory group, told MPs that people are going to have to learn to live with the virus “forever more”.
Giving evidence to the Science and Technology and Health and Social Care committees on Wednesday, Prof Edmunds said it was an “almost certainty” that a vaccine will help to manage the epidemic in the “not-too-distant future”.
He added: “We are going to have to live with this virus forever more. There is very little chance that it’s going to become eradicated.
“I think there’s so much investment in vaccines, of very different types, there’s a huge array of different vaccines that are being developed.
“I think it’s an almost certainty we will have vaccines that help us to manage this epidemic in the not-too-distant future.”
11.59am update: Prepare for fireworks! Boris set for FEROCIOUS lockdown showdown with Starmer
Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer are facing off in the House of Commons after a day of coronavirus lockdown chaos.
Boris Johnson has sacked one of his trade envoys after he rebelled against the Government’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said he felt “sad” to be leaving his role as trade envoy to Tanzania.
He called his sacking “counterproductive and bizarre” as he hit out at Mr Johnson in a Twitter rant.
Over the past week he has been highly critical of the Prime Minister’s three tier lockdown plan, which he said would inflict huge damage on the economy and people’s mental health.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has demanded more than £60m in a Covid financial package
10.57am update: Footballers fined for claiming to be from same household
Police have fined 12 members of a football team who were drinking in a pub and claimed to be from the same household.
The team was drinking in South Tyneside on Sunday night when a concerned staff member challenged them, only to be told by the men they were from the same household.
Unconvinced, the member of staff called police to report a breach of the coronavirus regulations, and officers arrived at the pub and issued the group with fines.
Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton, of Northumbria Police, said: “This group showed a flagrant disregard for the rules which are in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.”
The force declined to name the football team, or the pub.
10.15am update: Met urged to withdraw ‘misleading and unlawful’ advice to pubs
Scotland Yard is being urged to withdraw “misleading and unlawful” advice that pubs ask for photographic identification to stop households mixing.
The Metropolitan Police sent a letter telling business licence holders they should take steps to ensure groups were only from one household or part of a support bubble.
This could include asking for photographic identification with names and addresses, it added.
The letter, dated October 16, came the day before new Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions banning households from mixing indoors came into force in London.
Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said that following legal advice it was urging the Met to withdraw its “misleading and unlawful” advice.
The Met has been urged to withdraw advice to pubs to ask customers for names and addresses
9.38am update: Yorkshire police will enforce Tier 3 rules, says commissioner
South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings said: “If going into Tier 3 is necessary to stop the relentless spread of coronavirus, then the police will have a role in enforcing the new restrictions, for all our sakes.
“Having spoken to the chief constable and senior officers, I have no doubt that they will continue to do this in a proportionate way, but we should be in no doubt that there will be enforcement activity if people wilfully flout the law.
“Of course, the police cannot be everywhere all the time. It is essential, therefore, that we all play our part.
“Equally, the Government need to understand that people will continue to observe the rules as long as they feel that what is being proposed is not just reactive, but part of a longer term strategy to defeat the virus.
“How the Tier 3 restrictions fit into that strategy needs careful, constant and consistent explanation.”
8.49am update: Liverpool gyms to reopen under Tier 3
Liverpool City Region metro mayor Steve Rotheram told BBC Radio Merseyside that gyms in the area would be allowed to reopen under Tier 3 restrictions.
He asked for scientific evidence on why they were ordered to close, following the announcement gyms in Lancashire would remain open in Tier 3.
Reading a statement on behalf of local leaders, he said: “Collectively, we have consistently requested the scientific evidence that supported the imposition of the suite of measures under Tier 3 and we pointed out the inconsistency of the approach following the announcement that Lancashire would not in fact have exactly the same package of restrictions as our city region.
“Talks continued until late last night and the Government have agreed with the case I put forward on behalf of city region leaders and that they would now bring us in line with other Tier 3 areas.
“This would mean soft play areas would be closed but gyms could reopen.”
8.04am update: Ministers ‘on the cusp of agreement with South Yorkshire’
The Government is “on the cusp” of agreeing a deal with local leaders in Sheffield and South Yorkshire that will see the COVID-19 tier in the region raised to the highest level, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News.
He was asked why the Government and Greater Manchester leaders were “squabbling” over £5 million.
He told Sky News: “It wasn’t just about £5 million. We had dozens of conversations. I’m afraid, I’m not going to get into a point-scoring argument, but we simply were not able to reach agreement.
“The mayor and local leaders were not willing to agree to the package of support that we wanted to put in place.”
Mr Jenrick also denied that Andy Burnham had to find out the latest news live on television.
“He didn’t,” he said, adding: “I phoned him and told him.”
Mr Jenrick said he told Mr Burnham “the final news” at 2pm on Tuesday.
Additional reporting by Laura O’Callaghan.