British PM Johnson imposes tighter Covid-19 restrictions on Manchester

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LONDON (REUTERS) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would impose tougher lockdown restrictions on the Greater Manchester region in northern England despite failing to reach a deal on funding support with local leaders.

“This evening, informed by the data we have just seen, I can announce that Greater Manchester will move to the Very High alert level,” Johnson told a news conference on Tuesday (Oct 20).

He said the new restrictions would come into force early on Friday.

Britain is undergoing a second wave of the virus, recording 21,331 new cases and 241 deaths on Tuesday, but Johnson is resisting pressure for a second national lockdown and is instead pursuing a strategy of imposing tighter restrictions in virus hotspots.

The plan has provoked resistance from leaders in the north of England, where the worst of the latest outbreaks are concentrated.

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, had called for more financial support for the region’s businesses which would be forced to shut under the government’s highest tier of restrictions, but the two sides failed to reach agreement.

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