Greater Manchester Leaders calls for exit strategy to lift restrictions as soon as safely possible

The Mayor and Greater Manchester Leaders are today asking for an agreement with the Government on an exit strategy for Greater Manchester from the local restrictions on household gatherings as soon as safely possible.

There is shared concern that the current piecemeal lifting is causing confusion and a consensus that Greater Manchester needs to move beyond the current phase to a replacement programme of enhanced, hyper-local door-to-door interventions in all 10 boroughs based on the model that has proved successful in Oldham.

The Mayor has today written to the Health Secretary offering to work with the Government on an agreed programme for highly-targeted test and tracing interventions in communities most affected.

In the interim, however, it is recognised that the current local restrictions will still be needed before the new programme is in place.

Given the rise in cases in Bolton and Trafford over recent days, and the fact that restrictions were due to be lifted tomorrow, the Mayor and Leaders have asked the Government to postpone the lifting. These boroughs will then be taken out of the restrictions as soon as possible when it’s safe to do so, along with other boroughs, using a clearly defined exit strategy.

Recognising that the number of positive Covid tests in Stockport continue to be low, it is recommended that the lifting of restrictions there proceeds as agreed.

Leaders also agreed to today to reiterate their request to Government to remove all restrictions on businesses opening across Greater Manchester so that there is a level playing field for the beauty and leisure industries across the conurbation and to protect the economy from further damage. They are unaware of evidence showing that these businesses are contributing to spikes in coronavirus.

They have also asked that further consideration is given to the financial support provided to those who are self-isolating as that continues to be a relevant factor in controlling the virus in Greater Manchester.

A spokesperson for the GMCA said:

“It is clear that more targeted, hyper-local door-to-door action is more effective than broad geographical restrictions. That is why the Mayor and Leaders want to agree an exit strategy with the Government for the current restrictions. However, before that it is place, it is accepted that the restrictions will need to continue in eight boroughs in the short term.

“As soon as practically and safely possible, we want to see the whole of Greater Manchester coming back into line with the rest of country but with funding to provide enhanced local interventions where they are needed.”

Article Published: 01/09/2020 18:02 PM