Liverpool’s mayor says he hopes the city region could come out of tough Tier 3 lockdown restrictions within a month – but he says businesss and workers still need more support from Government.
The restrictions come into force in Liverpool City Region today with bars, pubs, gyms and casinos across the region set to close.
It’s the only English region currently in tier 3, though others could follow.
When details were leaked to the national press, it was suggested that the top level Tier 3 restrictions could last for six months.
But at a press conference with metro mayor Steve Rotheram and leaders from the five other councils now placed in Tier 3, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said he hoped the region would be able to drop down a tier within weeks.
He said: “We have to take some action to try to bring those figures down. The bottom line for us has always been about balancing that decision about health, and the impact on people’s health, and the impact [of restrictions] on business.
“We’ll continue to fight that corner but in terms of when we will see a decrease, hopefully, it will be in a matter of weeks so that potentially we get to the month [review] and we might be able to come out of the special measures and Tier 3.”
Mayor Anderson said city leaders had been given little room to manoeuvre over the levels of restrictions involved. And he echoed calls from other regional leaders that the Government should give businesses and workers more support.
Furloughed workers in Tier 3 regions like Liverpool city region are set to get 67% of their salary, rather than the 80% they get under the current scheme.
Metro Mayor Rotheram said at yesterday’s meeting that the combined authority was still in talks with Government over the support package, and whether it could be challenged.
The authority is also set to revise its own existing emergency stopgap scheme to help local businesses.
St Helens council leader David Baines said: “I think everyone’s gravely concerned about the potential economic impact.
“That’s why we’ve been fighting so hard for economic support, for a financial package to accompany any new restrictions. And that’s why we’re so disappointed that Government haven’t provided that beyond what they’re doing nationally.”