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Greater Manchester lockdown rules change again tonight

Everything you need to know…

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Finest Media & David Dixon/Geograph

Pubs and bars which do not operate as a restaurant must close as well as further restrictions on household mixing.

After several days of back and forth negotiations Greater Manchester has now been put into Tier 3 of the governments lockdown system meaning stricter rules will be put in place from Friday 0:01.

Andy Burnham has described the Tier 3 proposals ‘fundamentally flawed’ as he tried to push for a fairer financial support package for affected workers.

It’s been a confusing couple of weeks for the people of Greater Manchester so here’s everything you need to know about the new rules…

David Dixon/Geograph

Pubs & Restaurants
The main change from Friday will be pubs and bars which do not serve food will close. Places can only stay open if the operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving ‘substantial meals’ such as a main lunchtime or evening meal.

Businesses which are allowed to stay open will have to abide by the national 10pm curfew. People in Greater Manchester must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in ANY setting.

Leisure and close contact services
Leisure centres and gyms are currently allowed to remain open. Hairdressers are also allowed to continue trading. Libraries and community centres can also remain open.

Along with tourist attractions and performing arts venues. Both essential and non-essential retail, as well as places of worship can continue to stay open, following further Tier 3 restrictions on social contact.

Casinos, bingo halls, betting shops, adult gaming centres and soft play areas must also close in Greater Manchester, as Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Meeting friends and Family
There will also be a ban on meeting people outside your household or support bubble in a private garden and in most outdoor public spaces.

The places which people can meet up outside in groups of no more than 6 are as follows; parks, beaches, public gardens, allotments, outdoor sports facilities and playgrounds.

The following can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens; registered childcare providers including nannies, people in a support bubble and people in a childcare bubble.

Unfortunately you can no longer visit a care home unless due to exceptional circumstances.

Work & School
Education remains open. Officer workers who can effectively work from home should continue to do so. Those working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go to work where necessary. 

Weddings & funerals
It’s ok to meet for funerals, up to a maximum of 30 people but you mustn’t mingle whilst there. Wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people present.

Weddings and cicvil partnership ceremonies can take place with up to  15 people in Covid secure venues. Wedding receptions must not take place.

Moving House
You can still move house in a very high alert level area. Estate agents and removal firms can continue to operate and viewings can continue to take place.

David Dixon/Geograph

Travel 
The government has advised that people do not travel to and from Greater Manchester.

Additional guidance has been given to students who ‘must not move back and forward between their permanent home and student home during term time – subject to limited exemptions set out in law.’

People can continue to travel into or out of these areas if it’s for work or education, to access youth services or because of caring responsibilities.

Residents in Tier 3 should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK and others should avoid staying overnight in the area.

All restrictions in Greater Manchester will be reviewed by at least November 11th 2020. The current rules are ‘basement measures’ and the government can seek to agree additional measures. 

Visit the government website for more information. 

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Police seize over £3m worth of counterfeit goods in Cheetham Hill raids

GMP are stamping down on ‘the illegal distribution of counterfeit items’, and ‘the supply of illicit prescription drugs’

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GMP

Police have seized over £3m worth of counterfeit goods in a series of Cheetham Hill raids conducted as part of their ‘crackdown’ on counterfeit fraud.

According to a statement issued by Greater Manchester Police last night, Officers from City of London, North West Regional and Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), Border Force, Immigration and local officers yesterday executed their tenth raid on Lockett Street and Bury New Road.

There, £1million’s worth of goods including clothing, accessories, bags, perfume and jewellery were found and seized. This added to the other £2m worth of goods found across the last week. 

Six men, all aged between thirty-six and sixty-one, have all been arrested and released under investigation pending further enquiries, according to the force.

The raids come as part of GMP’s Operation’s ‘Magpie’ and ‘Cranium’, which aims to tackle ‘the illegal distribution of counterfeit items’, and tackle ‘the supply of illicit prescription drugs’.

Inspector William Jennings-Wharton from the Cheetham Neighbourhood team said in a statement: “This is all part of our continued work to tackle organised crime taking place in Cheetham Hill and I want to reassure the local community that we are listening to their concerns and this week’s action is all part of our continued crackdown.

“Counterfeit goods and drug dealing will not be tolerated and all of these raids are a huge step in really driving a wedge in organised crime in the area.

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“Counterfeit goods are not a victimless crime – though these desired items may look good and are cheap, they are funding a wider picture that involves money laundering, organised crime and cheap labour.

“The profits from such businesses can be used to fund other serious crime, and often with that comes violence which can have a devastating ripple effect on communities and nearby legitimate businesses.”

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council added: “Counterfeit crime runs far deeper than just the sale of knock-off coats and handbags [as] there are deep links to other criminal enterprises and the sale of fake goods only puts money in the hands of criminals. 

“We remain committed to tackling this practice at the source and will continue to work with our partners in the police to secure prosecution against perpetrators… And get fake goods off our streets.”

Anyone with information has been encouraged to report it online or by using the LiveChat facility at www.gmp.police.uk or by calling 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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This is why some supermarkets are refusing to enforce the new face mask rules

Supermarket bosses have spoken out

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Mika Baumeister / Unsplash & Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

A number of supermarkets have addressed the reason they won’t be enforcing the new face mask rules that are now mandatory across the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the return of face masks and self-isolation over the weekend in a bid to tackle the new Omicron variant, which is believed to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

However, despite the mandate being backed by the government, a number of supermarket bosses announced that they would not be enforcing masks upon their customers.

Adcro / Wikimedia Commons

Iceland was the first supermarket to announce its stance on the matter, with the chain’s managing director Richard Walker saying he wouldn’t be asking staff to enforce the new restrictions as they focus on the ‘long-term recovery of the high street.’

Walker told The Daily Mail: “We fully support the reintroduction of compulsory face masks in shops, however, we won’t be asking our store colleagues to police it.

“Our store teams, alongside all retail workers, have shown heroic efforts in terms of ensuring safety for customers and building back consumer confidence and it’s crucial that we stay focused on the long-term recovery of the high street.”

Supermarket giant Co-op has also said that they would not be enforcing face coverings in their stores – nor would they refuse to serve a customer without one.

The British Retail Consortium has said it’s down to the police to enforce the measure, saying, as per The Sun: “Customers are asked to respect the rules and be considerate to their fellow shoppers and to hard-working shop staff.”

Since then, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl have all echoed this stance, with each saying they have no plans to challenge customers over the wearing of a face covering in store.

Nickolay Romensky / Flickr

Alternatively, Asda and Morrisons have announced that they will be regularly enforcing the use of face masks while also handing out free masks to those who don’t have them, while Sainsbury’s said it will have ‘greeters and security guards at the front of our supermarkets’ to remind people to wear masks. 

A statement from the Government on the rule change read: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.”

All hospitality is exempt from the rule change. 

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Boris Johnson reveals plan to offer all adults booster jabs by the end of January

NEWS JUST IN

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The government plans on offering all adults booster vaccines by the end of January, Boris Johnson has revealed today.

The Prime Minister spoke at a Downing Street conference this afternoon where he announced the planned booster rollout will take place across 1,500 pharmacy sites across England in age order. 

Over 400 military personnel will help with the rollout, Johnson added.

Noting that it’s ‘time for another Great British vaccination effort’, Johnson said: “The target we’ve set ourselves is to offer a booster to everyone eligible by the end of January.

“As with the first jabs, we’ll be working through people by age group going down in five year bands, because it’s vital that the older and more clinically vulnerable get that added protection first.”

The Prime Minister stressed that even those who had their second jab over three months ago should wait until the NHS contacts them about a booster appointment.

This announcement comes as face masks are made compulsory once again in all shops and on public transport.

The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

The change in rules was announced by the Prime Minister after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK. 

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday that all adults will be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine as part of a reaching expansion of the jabs programme to deal with the potential impact of the new variant.

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