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More than 1,000 businesses in Blackpool have called on Boris Johnson to save the seaside town from “catastrophic” damage caused by tier 3 restrictions, LancsLive reports.
After one week of the strictest level of coronavirus curbs, hard-hit businesses in the town, which depend heavily on tourism, now face a “perfect storm” with dramatic levels of cancellations at hotels, BnBs and attractions.
Without immediate intervention from the prime minister, they warn that there is a real prospect that large numbers of businesses, many of them independent hotels and guest houses, will “not survive beyond the year-end” leading to hundreds of job losses.
In an open letter, signed by representatives of local tourism businesses and delivered to Downing Street, they state that the tier 3 financial settlement for Lancashire, including Blackpool, is “nowhere near sufficient” to support those that have been forced to close, in addition to those who are expected to continue to trade against a backdrop of cancellations and shattered consumer confidence.
They argue that a comprehensive package of aid for businesses large and small in Blackpool is urgently needed to support the tourism economy, worth £1.6bn and in excess of 25,000 jobs.
Here is a thread from Blackpool Council:
And here is the open letter:
Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands, has urged the government to approach lockdown talks “straightforwardly” and to end “unedifying” public battles with regional leaders, Josh Halliday reports.
Following a week of fury from leaders across the north of England, Street said public rows with mayors such as Greater Manchester’s Andy Burnham would not give “anyone any confidence or certainty” ahead of a winter of social restrictions.
He said ministers should be clearer about the formula used to allocate funding to each region entering tier 3, the strictest level of coronavirus restrictions, and ensure that talks with local politicians were held swiftly and in private.
With Nottingham set to head into tier 3 imminently, and other regions close behind, scrutiny has turned to the formula used by ministers to decide the level of funding given to each area.
Street said he would expect the West Midlands, if it was to enter tier 3, to get a similar government offer as Greater Manchester – £82m in total – given that they both had 2.8 million residents. He refused to say whether he would accept it.
Here is the full story:
On several front pages this morning is the new performance low reached by England’s £12bn testing and contact tracing system.
At last night’s press conference, Boris Johnson and his chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, admitted failings in the system, which new figures suggest is reaching less than 60% of close contacts, while waiting times for test results have almost doubled the target to nearly 48 hours.
In the system’s worst week on record, in the week ending 14 October, 59.6% of close contacts were reached, down from the previous week’s figure of 62.6%, which was the lowest since the test-and-trace operation was launched at the end of May.
Meanwhile, the median time taken to receive a test result at regional sites rose to 45 hours, from 28 the previous week. Local test site result times increased to 47 hours from 29, and mobile test units rose to 41 hours from 26.
Several of the papers make it that this means just one in seven people are getting their test results within 24 hours.
Here is my colleague Haroon Siddique’s report:
Good morning. Greater Manchester has moved into the strictest coronavirus alert level of tier 3, joining Lancashire and the Liverpool city region. Pubs and restaurants will be shut for 28 days unless they serve “substantial meals”, and social mixing will be banned indoors and in private gardens, with the rule of six applying in outdoor settings. Casinos, bookies and bingo halls will also close.
Later, Wales will enter a two-week circuit-breaker lockdown at 6pm in an effort to curb the spread of the virus and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed. The Welsh government has said the “sharp and deep” lockdown, brought in to coincide with the half-term school holiday, could be enough to avoid a longer and “much more damaging national lockdown” in the months ahead.
Under the measures, which will last 17 days until 9 November, people will be asked to stay at home and to leave only for a limited number of reasons, including exercise, buying essential supplies, or to seek or provide care. The first minister Mark Drakeford said supermarkets would only be able to sell “essential” items during the firebreak to ensure a “level playing field” for retailers forced to shut.
I’ll be bringing you all the latest coronavirus developments from the UK throughout the day, so please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a tip, story or personal experience you would like to share. Your thoughts are always welcome!
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: UK coronavirus live: Greater Manchester enters tier 3, as Wales prepares for circuit breaker | Politics