LONDON (AP) – The British government will announce on Monday new restrictions on business and communication in major cities in the North of England with a high rate of infection. But pubs, restaurants and other businesses reject it, claiming they are not to blame for the blast.
Local authorities in the hard-hit cities, including Liverpool and Manchester, are seeking financial support for companies ordered to close and details of a strategy to break out of local blockades.
After the decline in the summer, coronavirus cases increased in the UK as winter approached, with the northwestern and north-eastern parts of England increasing the most.
Under the new measures, areas of England will be placed in ̵
Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotherham said his city should be placed in the highest category.
“We were told we were entering level 3 – no ‘if,’ ‘but,'” he said.
Rotherham, mayor of the greater Liverpool region of north-west England, said local authorities had not yet agreed with the Conservative government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the exact limits. Johnson should give more details to the House of Commons later.
Businesses, including gyms and pubs, are expected to close, but restaurants are lobbying to allow them to remain open. Rotherham said cities also want to know what the exit strategy will be, which needs to be reviewed in a month.
The United Kingdom has experienced Europe’s deadliest epidemic with an official death toll of 42,825. Health officials say Britain is at a critical juncture and decisive action is needed to prevent hospital overcrowding during the year when they are already most preoccupied with influenza and other winter illnesses.
Stephen Powys, medical director of the National Health Service in England, said there were currently more people hospitalized with the virus than there were when the country was blocked in March.
He said three COVID-19 temporary hospitals in the North of England, which had been discouraged when the outbreak receded in the summer, were prepared to see patients again in the coming weeks.
England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, said Monday that while northern England had the highest rate of infection, cases were on the rise across the country.
“The epidemic this time has apparently picked up in the north of England earlier than in the first wave, and this is almost certainly due to the fact that disease levels in the north and certainly in the northwest have never dropped so far in the summer. as they did in the south, “Van-Tam told a news conference.
But he added: “Now this is a phenomenon all over the country.”
Liverpool has one of the highest levels of infection in the country, with more than 600 cases per 100,000 people.
Bar and restaurant owners have questioned whether they are the main sources of transmission and say the government has not shared the evidence to support the claim.
Manchester City Council leader Richard Liz said the city’s public health figures “appear to show little connection between bars and restaurants and the COVID broadcast”.
But Callum Sample, a professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool and a member of the government’s emergency research advisory group, said “most outbreaks occur in and between households and then in the retail and hospitality sectors.” ”
“Alcohol and human behavior are well known as factors that make it easier for someone to comply, let’s be polite,” Sample told the BBC. “So I can understand why this move is happening.”
The government has announced a support package to pay two-thirds of the salaries of employees of companies that are said to be closed, but many in the pub and restaurant sector say that is not enough to save without this difficult business.
England is already under national restrictions, including evening classes in pubs and restaurants and a ban on gathering more than six people. Some areas have stricter measures, such as a ban on household mixing. The rest of the UK is under similar and sometimes stricter restrictions. In Scotland’s two largest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, pubs have been closed for 16 days to quell the outbreak.
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