Coronavirus, Sadiq Khan, Andy Burnham, Boris Johnson

Coronavirus, Sadiq Khan

UK coronavirus curfews 'doing more harm than good' amid confusing lockdown rules

UK coronavirus curfews 'doing more harm than good' amid confusing lockdown rules

9/29/2020 2:54:00 AM

UK coronavirus curfews 'doing more harm than good' amid confusing lockdown rules

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says closing pubs and restaurants early was doing 'more harm than good' as city centres pack with crowds due to the 10pm curfew

Up to 4,000 students are in quarantine and city centres filled with crowds after a 10pm pub curfew.Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said early closing was doing “more harm than good”.Meanwhile, a row erupted over the 10pm pub curfew tonight, while over two million people in the North East faced tighter restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

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Ministers are under pressure to review the rule after revellers poured out on to streets and public transport at closing time over the weekend.Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced it would be illegal for different households in the North East to meet up indoors.

Ministers are also considering whether to impose a similar ban on socialising in Merseyside after a spike in the region.More measures could also be introduced within days by London Mayor Sadiq Khan within days after the capital was put on a coronavirus watchlist.

The Government is keeping “circuit break” plans on the table which would mean all pubs, restaurants and bars being ordered to shut for two weeks.It was presented to ministers as an option last week but Boris Johnson opted for a controversial 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.

Downing Street is also facing criticism from ministers, Tory MPs and scientists over the apparently unforeseen consequences of the curfew.Hundreds of people were seen ­gathering in centres in cities including Nottingham, Manchester and Cardiff.Greater Manchester metro mayor Andy Burnham warned it may be doing “more harm than good”. He said it was leading to a rush to buy more alcohol and creating an incentive for people to gather in each others’ homes.

John Apter, of the Police Federation, said police had difficulty dispersing large crowds with limited numbers of officers. He said: “My colleagues will do the best they can to encourage and coerce people to move on but all that you need is a hostile group and resources are swallowed up.”

SAGE member Professor Susan Michie said: “The consequences of the curfew ­undermine the gains. The measure is another example of a restriction brought in outwith a coherent strategy and without ­sufficient consultation with relevant experts and communities.”

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Another Government adviser, Professor Robert Dingwall, said: “The disdain for the night-time economy reflects the puritan streak in public health that has marked interventions.”Labour wants the evidence to be looked at again and a review published to Parliament within days.

But Downing Street claimed the 10pm deadline struck the “right balance”, ruled out the need to ­reconsider and played down the idea of staggered exit times. Mr Johnson’s spokesman blamed the public, saying the PM had been clear “everybody has a part to play” to avoid stricter rules.

Mr Johnson meanwhile enjoyed a game of cricket at Ruislip High School sports day in his constituency.More than two million people in the North East were already banned from mixing inside or in gardens, but it was only guidance that they should not meet at public venues, including pubs.

Schools and shops can remain open, along with factories and offices at which staff could not work from home.Mr Hancock told MPs it was necessary to toughen up restrictions to curb a sharp spike in the virus. He said: “We know a large number of these infections are taking place in indoor settings outside the home.”

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes slammed ministers for failing to inform local leaders beforehand.He said: “The way these measures are being communicated in headlines does nothing for public confidence.”Liverpool metro mayor Joe Anderson said the city’s virus rate had spiralled “out of control” and predicted a short-term full lockdown was the only way.

There were 1,306 positive cases in the most recent seven days recorded, up from 577 a week before. But he said a lockdown should only happen with Government funding for those affected.Tory MPs are furious tough new ­regulations were brought in yesterday without a vote or scrutiny.

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It is now a crime to “recklessly” come into close contact with someone or fail to tell your boss you are self-isolating.And it’s also illegal to maliciously tell Test and Trace you were in contact with them when you actually were not.Mr Hancock said sometimes the Government had to act fast. He said: “Letting the virus rip would leave a death toll too big to bear.”

Read more: Daily Mirror »

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Another Boris blunder?

UK coronavirus live: Burnham says 10pm closing time for pubs 'doing more harm than good'Greater Manchester mayor says rule ‘creates an incentive for people to gather in the streets or at home’ Rules for thee but not for me,said the MP.s And there's not many pubs in Burnham on Sea. Really? What would he do and why hasn't he done it yet, he has the power.

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