LIVE: Mayor Andy Burnham holds press conference on coronavirus in Greater Manchester

LIVE: Mayor Andy Burnham holds press conference on coronavirus in Greater Manchester

‘No division within GM boroughs on restrictions’

Mr Burnham is now speaking again.

He is sending a letter to the government with a number of requests around GM restrictions:

– There is not a case any more to delay opening casinos, bowling alleys, beauty parlours. In all ten boroughs

“The evidence we have the vast amount of transmission is in the home, not in those places, they don’t pose a risk,” Andy says.

– The possibility of mixed position on restrictions within wards. “It’s a recipe for utter confusion, division and choas,” Andy says.

“We’re saying to the government, we do not want to go that way.

“Sadly, some people are playing politics at a local level,” Andy says. “We will take the responsible course as we have all along.”

– Test and trace needs to ‘dramatically improve’ in GM, Andy says.

“At the moment it’s not performing well enough.

“Around half of the contacts of people tesing positive are being contacted by the national system.

“That’s nowhere near where it needs to be.”

Andy says GM will be calling for much greater local control around track and trace.

“We need to see this rebalancing of NHS track and trace,” he says. “With much more greater control.”

He also calls once again for more financial support for people to self-isolate.

“This issue isn’t going away and the government hasn’t corrected it,”he says.

– Status of GM restrictions. “While there is progress, in many of our boroughs there are high number of cases.

“And of course now we have to think about the returning of schools.”

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The Mayor says GM agrees that they should remain in 7 of the 10 boroughs, with a review in two weeks time, not one.

There is a “very much changed position in Bolton and Stockport”, the Mayor says.

Similar to what happened in Wigan, there is now political consensus to ask the government to remove restrictions in those boroughs.

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