The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has raised concerns over a possible circuit breaker lockdown in October in order to control an expected rise in Covid-19 cases.
During a virtual press conference, the Labour mayor said he sees significant practical difficulties with the potential move by the Government and that it might not even work if it was introduced.
He also told journalists that how effective a circuit breaker would be is an “open question”.
He instead said that a better alternative is a return to more consistent messaging from Westminster and that people should not have the choice whether to wear a mask on public transport.
However, he said it is “hard to put the genie back in the bottle” in that regard.
Mr Burnham added that instead of talking about the Government’s plan B, which was outlined earlier this week, there are some things that ‘should be done now in order to return to discipline’, such as face masks.
The mayor also said that employers should be looking at the potential for working from home as the country goes through the autumn.
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Mr Burnham also criticised the “rhetoric” around the so-called ‘freedom day’ over the summer and said it has made becoming more disciplined regarding messaging harder.
The mayor, responding to a question noting that Health Secretary Sajid Javid has not ruled out regional lockdowns, he said he remains opposed to such a move.
He added that he can see a situation where it happens but he questioned whether it would be practical and what support would be offered by the Government.
Mr Burnham also said that local and regional lockdowns work “very minimally, if at all”, and that they also encourage people to leave the area for places where hospitality is open.
The mayor confirmed that Greater Manchester is still opposed to any regional lockdowns and that he is disappointed it wasn’t ruled out by Mr Javid.
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