Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham has promised to resist local lockdowns being implemented by the government in the North West.

Responding to an earlier interview with Environment Secretary George Eustice who said that localised restrictions are “an option” in trying to reduce the spread of the Indian variant.

Mr Burnham said: “Last year, tiers did not work – they did not stop the spread of the virus.

“It would be hard for me to put out a message of caution in Greater Manchester when nationally the messaging is very different, that the road map is proceeding.

“We struggled with that mixed messaging all of last year.

“Government should listen to its own MPs, to what I am saying, and allow the vaccination programme to proceed much more quickly in Bolton, Blackburn and other places that have the spread of this variant. That is the solution, and it is right in front of us.”

The Times has this morning claimed that “officials have drawn up plans [for local lockdowns] modelled on the tier 4 restrictions introduced last year” and that “under the measures, people would be advised to stay at home and non-essential shops and hospitality would be closed if the new strain was not brought under control”.


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