Pubs will be allowed to stay open in Greater Manchester, MPs told

Greater Manchester has avoided being placed under the harshest lockdown measures, MPs and the region’s mayor have confirmed.

MPs were briefed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Monday that the 10 boroughs would be placed under Tier 2 restrictions, meaning they will operate under measures similar to those in place now.

Pubs serving food will be permitted to stay open but households will be banned from mixing indoors.

It comes as the Government announced sweeping new controls in an attempt to stem the surge of infections, with Boris Johnson setting out his three-tier strategy in a Commons statement.

Labour shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon tweeted: “Call with the Secretary of State (Matt Hancock) confirms Greater Manchester will be placed in Tier 2 with household restrictions on meeting indoors in any setting, but not outdoors.

“Pubs serving food remain open.

“Oldham will be removed from its enhanced lockdown measures and brought into line with Greater Manchester at last.”

Following reports confirming the Tier 2 status, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said it was the “right decision” but called for “full financial support” to help businesses through the restrictions.

But politicians were left angry at the way the briefing had been handled, with shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy complaining of being left out.

The Wigan MP tweeted: “Just learnt Greater Manchester will be placed into Tier 2 restrictions via Twitter.

“Apparently there was a Government briefing for Greater Manchester MPs but I can’t provide details because I wasn’t invited.

“I suspect this is because they don’t know where Wigan is.

“What an absolute shambles!”

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner called the confusion “ridiculous”, posting on social media: “Can someone please get a map up on the wall in No 10 Downing Street to help them out.”

Stockport MP Navendu Mishra labelled the Government’s Covid briefing to local MPs “shambolic”.

He tweeted: “Just 21 minutes notice by Matt Hancock for his Covid-19 briefing.

“Complete disdain by this Government for all those who live and work in Greater Manchester.”