Northern leaders beg Boris not to shut pubs on Monday as ‘Covid restrictions are beginning to work’


NORTHERN leaders have begged Boris Johnson not to shut pubs on Monday, saying “coronavirus restrictions are beginning to work”.

The Labour leader of Gateshead Council, Martin Gannon, said the shut down of hospitality across the North is “counter-productive”.

An empty restaurant in Manchester as cases rise

Martin Gannon has begged the Government not to shut down pubs and restaurants

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Our argument is that even with the mixed messaging, even with the confusion and frustration, the measures that are in at the moment are beginning to work.

“Work with us, give us more time, help us to win confidence and persuade people who want to do the right thing.

“Help us to win confidence to the measures that are currently in, not bring in new measures and get even further resistance and further confusion.”

Mr Johnson will give a dramatic coronavirus statement to the country on Monday to set out new restrictions.

It comes as chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister wrote to MPs following a meeting with northern leaders on Thursday.

In a letter shared online, Sir Edward stated that “rising incidence” of Covid in parts of the country mean it is “very likely” that certain local areas will face “further restrictions”.

The letter adds: “The government will discuss a set of measures with local leaders all of which present difficult choices.”

But Mr Gannon complained no minister took part in a conference call with North East leaders regarding the situation on Friday.


And Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Now we are engaged in a conversation that’s telling us that these decisions have been made, so that’s… a conversation, not a consultation.

“But the main point of the imposition of the measures are clearly that: imposition. We have not be consulted.”

Susan Hopkins, deputy director of Public Health England’s national infection service said today: “The picture shows that all over the country the numbers of cases are rising.

“They are rising more quickly in the North West, the North East and Yorkshire and Humber than they are in the south of the country.

“Concerning aspects in terms of the North West is that in certain pockets of the North West it is rising quite fast now in the over-60s. And that’s the group of people that we know would need admission to hospital more significantly than the younger population.”

The Prime Minister will outline a new “tiered” approach to how local Covid situations will be treated amid a surge in infections in the North of England.

The most recent data from Public Health England shows that Covid cases rose in all but three areas

The PM will reveal the full details of the new streamlined lockdown system in a statement to the House of Commons on Monday – with pubs and restaurants expected to be closed in badly hit areas.

The moves came as a further 13,864 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK were reported on Friday, and 87 more deaths were confirmed of people who died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.

Nottingham has the highest rate in England, with 760.6 cases per 100,000 people – a huge jump from 158.3 per 100,000 in the seven days to September 29.

Knowsley has the second highest rate, which has leapt from 391.1 to 657.6 per 100,000, while Liverpool is in third place, where the rate has also increased sharply, from 419.0 to 599.9.

Separate figures suggested coronavirus cases are doubling about twice as fast in the North West, Yorkshire and the West Midlands as for the whole of England.

In Scotland, pubs and licensed restaurants in five health board areas – Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley – were forced to close for all but takeaway service for 16 days from 6pm on Friday.

While in North Wales, new coronavirus restrictions are being introduced in Bangor following a sharp rise in cases, the Welsh Government has announced.

From 6pm on Saturday, people will not be allowed to enter or leave the area without a “reasonable excuse” and can only meet people they do not live with outdoors, it said.

An empty street in Liverpool as pubs and restaurants gear up for more severe restrictions