Liverpool city region moves into Tier 3 restrictions

Amid soaring rates of COVID-19 Health Secretary Matt Hancock said further restrictions were necessary with Liverpool city region set to move from Tier 2 to Tier 3. Tony McDonough reports

Mask, virus, infection, coronavirus, COVID-19
Liverpool city region is being placed into Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions


Restaurants across the Liverpool city region will be forced to close from midnight tonight as the region is placed under Tier 3 COVID-19 restrictions.

On Wednesday afternoon, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said further restrictions were necessary to curb the spread of the virus. Although the biggest rises are being seen in London and the South East, infection rates in Merseyside have also risen in recent days.

The new restrictions also mean fans will once again be banned from attending football matches. For the past few weeks, under Tier 2, Liverpool, Everton and Tranmere Rovers had been allowed to welcome up to 2,000 fans into their grounds.

Although the new restriction will mean the closure of hospitality venues across the city region, those offering takeaway and delivery services will be allowed to continue. Non-essential shops can also stay open as can gyms, although organised classes are not permitted. Personal care, such as hair salons can also stay open.

It also means people from different households will no longer be able to meet in private gardens. A maximum of six people can meet in outdoor public locations such as parks. The graphic, below, illustrates what is allowed and not allowed under Tier 3:

COVID, Tier 3
COVID, Tier 3


Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor acknowledged the new restrictions were necessary give the rise in infections locally. There is particular concern about a new strain of COVID-19 which it is believed increases transmission by more than 50%.

The news also comes on the day when a second COVID-19 vaccine, developed at Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca, has been approved for use in the UK. Millions of doses will be administered from January 4.

Mr Rotheram said: “Despite our area leading on many of the medical developments in the fight against COVID, we have seen transmission rates rise recently in every part of our city region, leading to a worrying uptick in positive cases. At the same time cases have risen at alarming rates across the rest of the country, threatening to push our NHS to its limits.

“Being placed into Tier 3 today is something that none of us wanted, but I hope that these new measures help to slow down and contain the spread of the virus quickly. We will of course continue to do everything we can here to slow the spread of the virus and save lives and livelihoods.

“These restrictions will have a major impact on the local economy, and I know many people will now be worried about what it means for them. I promise that we will again do all that we can locally to support local businesses and protect jobs.

“But alongside this it is vital that Government also steps-up and offers financial support to areas in higher tiers. We need Government assistance to support people until the economy can reopen.

Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram. Picture by Tony McDonough


“We have seen throughout the past ten months that restrictions can only suppress the virus for a limited period of time. That’s why I have called on ministers to bring forward plans to rapidly increase the speed of the vaccine rollout, so that we can return to some sort of normality for good at the earliest opportunity. I hope in light of today’s announcements they will now do so.”

Frank McKenna, chief executive of Liverpool-based business lobby group, Downtown in Business, echoed Mr Rotheram’s call for extra financial support for stricken businesses. He told LBN: “Today’s announcement puts thousands of more businesses and jobs at risk. The Chancellor must now review the business support packages he has put in place.

“Furlough is not enough. Rishi Sunak must now announce a National Insurance and Pension contribution holiday for those sectors hardest hit. He also needs to instruct banks to introduce an interest moratorium and he should initiate discussions with commercial landlords to explore the possibility of extending leases.

“I’d also expect the furlough scheme to be extended through to July now. Given that all the indications suggest a further three-months of lockdown or near-lockdown, a Spring re-opening, assuming the vaccine is rolled out efficiently, will mean that businesses require a further quarter to get their cashflow going and steady the ship.”

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