HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement outlining which tier each local authority in England will fall under after the end of the national lockdown is expected to be made at 11.30am this morning (Thursday).
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, told Sky News: “Whichever tier you’re in I think people will see a tangible change.
“That said, things are obviously not normal and I can’t pretend that next week things are going to feel like they were before the spring.”
Mr Sunak also confirmed that the Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead a press conference in Downing Street later on Thursday.
Simon Emeny, chief executive of pub owner Fuller’s, said that like everyone in his industry he awaits the England tier announcements with “some degree of trepidation”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think the really difficult pill for us to swallow this week is that the extra restrictions that have been placed in Tier 2 will render something like 73% of sites in the industry in Tier 2 unprofitable and they’re unlikely to open.”
Mr Emeny said it’s a “great worry” for the entire sector, and also the Chancellor, as pubs will not be contributing “much-needed tax revenues”.
He said the attitude towards the hospitality sector “seems to have completely turned on its head”.
“Whilst we can now go to gyms, we can now have our hair cut and go to all shops in all tiers, in pubs they are being singled out for their own unique tier system, which not only is unjustified, but depriving many communities of a vital local amenity over the Christmas break,” he said.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said the virus has been brought back under control in the city, adding that it is now ready for Tier 2.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there have been no conversations about what tier the city will be in, but added: “I think the figures and the data justify Liverpool being at least, at least, in Tier 2.”
Asked if he would encourage other areas that are put in Tier 3 to put up with the restrictions, Mr Anderson said: “Yes, absolutely, because it’s about saving lives.
“There’s no question that the action that we’ve taken in Liverpool has saved lives.
“That’s what national government and local government should be about. It’s protecting your people and saving lives.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham tweeted: “Places put into Tier 3 today will get no additional business support funding than those in Tier 1 or Tier 2. Can that possibly be fair? #LevellingDown.”