Reacting to the Government’s announcement that Greater Manchester is to be put back into Tier 3 measures when the national lockdown ends on Wednesday, Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“Ministers forget that we have been in local restrictions continuously since the end of July. Most people have done the right thing and that has helped to drive our transmission rates down. They will continue to fall as a result of their continued efforts. We have to do everything we can to prevent Coronavirus from getting a deadly grip and we have to remain vigilant at all times.
“But I will never understand the logic of a tiering system that says it’s ok for many thousands to cram into a busy shopping centre in the run-up to Christmas, but small numbers from the same household are unable to sit responsibly at a table for a meal and a drink in a bar or restaurant. This will be a heavy blow for the hospitality businesses across Denton and Reddish who have invested heavily in Covid-secure measures to allow them to reopen safely.
“I will look very carefully at the measures to be brought before Parliament. I support the new tougher enforcement powers to ensure business compliance with Covid regulations, but I don’t support the arbitrary singling out of the hospitality sector, which all the data shows is responsible for around just 3% of transmissions. As such I am minded to oppose Greater Manchester being put into Tier 3.
“What we actually need is to protect the most vulnerable, and roll-out proper localised testing and contact tracing. In the meantime, we must all continue to follow public health advice – Hands, Face, Space. Let’s defeat Coronavirus together.”