Government in talks over stricter lockdown restrictions for areas of England
The government is continuing to hold talks with local leaders over the extension of tougher lockdown restrictions in areas of England, which could see more hospitality venues close.
MPs in Greater Manchester and London have been invited to briefings with health minister Helen Whateley this morning, the BBC reports.
Local leaders including Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham will also be speaking to the government, after the Joint Biosecurity Centre recommended that Lancashire and Manchester be moved to the highest tier 3 alert level.
This would mean restaurants, pubs and bars not serving ‘substantial meals' must close.
Liverpool City Region is currently the only area in the top tier.
Burnham has said he is considering launching a legal challenge if the government places Greater Manchester under tier 3 restrictions.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the Labour mayor said such a move would be "by imposition, not consent".
He added that moving to the highest level of restrictions without a financial package including an 80% furlough scheme would be "an act of self-harm" that would harm the local economy.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has backed moving the capital from tier one to two, which would see people banned from mixing with other households indoors, including in hospitality venues.
But he has called for the government to issue a support package to reflect the "unique circumstance" of London.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to update MPs on the measures later today.
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