Lancashire to stay in Tier 2 lockdown for now, confirms Government

Lancashire will stay in Tier 2 lockdown for now, confirms Government health secretary Matt Hancock.

Thursday, 15th October 2020, 12:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th October 2020, 12:38 pm

This morning's crunch talks between Lancashire council chiefs and central Government have stalled, meaning Lancashire will stay in Tier 2 lockdown for now.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Matt Hancock said “discussions are ongoing” with local leaders on moving areas classed as high to very high, but "no decisions have been made".

He said: “In other areas currently in the second tier where discussions are ongoing, no further decisions have yet been made but we need to make rapid progress.”

Health secretary Matt Hancock is expected to make an announcement on the nation's lockdown measures today (Thursday, October 15)

It follows tense discussions between local leaders and the Government over the extension of coronavirus controls, with Downing Street urging Lancashire to enter Tier 3 lockdown.

Ministers have held a series of talks with leaders from Lancashire and Greater Manchester in recent days, but they have failed to reach an agreement over a multi-million pound support package to help deal with the impact of a Tier 3 lockdown on local people's livelihoods.

Crunch talks this morning centred on Lancashire trying to negotiate a funding package worth nearly £50m more than the £12m believed to be on offer from the government.

This is understood to have included a massive discretionary grant scheme to support local businesses directly or indirectly affected by a tougher lockdown.

Preston and the rest of Lancashire might be placed into Tier 3 following an urgent review of the Government's lockdown measures

But it appears that no agreement has been reached on a deal after the Government tabled a 'take-it-or-leave-it' offer to Lancashire's council leaders.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has also resisted following the Liverpool City Region into Tier 3 restrictions, following last-minute talks with No 10, after his demands for greater financial support were refused by Government.

This morning, London was placed into Tier 2 lockdown (High risk) after previously being subject to Tier 1 restrictions, meaning households will be banned from mixing indoors, including pubs, from Saturday.

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Covid-19 alert system in England. Pic credit: PA Graphics
Blackpool and the rest of Lancashire might be placed into Tier 3 following an urgent review of the Government's lockdown measures