Tier 3 areas warn of ‘devastating’ impact on businesses without more cash

Boris Johnson is facing calls for extra cash to support areas forced into the toughest Tier 3 restrictions amid warnings they will have a “devastating” effect on many businesses.

Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor of Greater Manchester, said the measures – which mean pubs and restaurants have to stay closed except for deliveries and takeaways – would cause “real hardship”.

The mayor, who clashed with ministers over the levels of support available when the region was first put into Tier 3 before the current lockdown, said it was “completely wrong” that there was no additional funding.

“The new Tier 3 will hit the hospitality sector extremely hard. While there are grants for businesses forced to close, there is no extra support for business which supply them like security, catering and cleaning,” he said in a statement.

“This will cause real hardship for people whose jobs will be affected and risk the loss of many businesses.”

His concerns were echoed by Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands, who said more support was needed.

“Tier 3 for the West Midlands is very disappointing, but we must now focus on getting out ASAP,” he tweeted.

PA infographic showing Covid-19 restrictions in England
PA infographic showing Covid-19 restrictions in England

“The trajectory is good, and our stay should be short-lived if people stick to the rules.

“However more support is needed whilst in Tier 3, particularly for the hospitality and live events sectors.”

The leader of Kirklees Council Shabir Pandor said the effect on the hospitality sector would be “devastating”.

“Pubs, bars, restaurants and others who cannot open under Tier 3 restrictions have gone above and beyond to keep their customers safe throughout this pandemic,” he said.

“I’m urging Government to think more creatively about these restrictions and about how it can support the sector and the supply chain that relies on it so they are not laying more misery on these businesses.”