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Pubs and bars in the Liverpool City Region will be required to close from Wednesday as the Government announced the area was being placed onto the most serious COVID-19 alert level. The restrictions will also see wedding receptions banned, and the closure of gyms, sports facilities, betting shops and casinos. But Mayor Joe Anderson has hit out at the new restrictions and demanded a furlough scheme for workers in the affected sectors.
Speaking to LBC, Mr Anderson said: “We want a higher level of furlough for these businesses that have been closed in the city of Liverpool.
“We want full compensation for those businesses and full compensation for the low paid staff that work in them.
“The fact of the matter is that they haven’t caused this crisis.
“They are being forced to close by the government and that’s the same principle that they apply in the national furlough scheme when was a national lockdown.
“We’re saying it’s common sense and consistent that if you’re going to have a local lockdown, you should have a local lockdown furlough scheme.”
LBC presendter Eddie Mair interjected: “But the measures then were imposed from Whitehall.”
The mayor continued: “There was a conversation where we were told that these measures were going to be introduced, there was no negotiation.
“When the Prime Minister said in the Commons that ‘we reached an agreement with the Liverpool city leader’ that was not true. We argued really consistently and clearly.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new restrictions “will be critical to save lives and protect the NHS”.
He said: “This is a vital moment in our national effort against the second wave of the virus.
“We will continue to work closely with other local leaders in the days ahead.”
The Government said local leaders in the Liverpool City Region will be able to call on the armed forces to provide “additional logistical support” if needed.
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While Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Government’s “comprehensive plan” will protect jobs and businesses over the winter, ensuring “no gap in support”.
At a press briefing at Downing Street on Monday, he outlined how the existing furlough scheme will continue in October and the Job Support Scheme will be available from November and will run for six months.
“This national programme will benefit people the same wherever they live and whatever job they do,” he said.
Businesses legally required to close in England will be able to claim cash grants of up to £3,000 per month, he said, which will never need to be repaid.
He announced an extra £1.3 billion of funding for Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland administrations “if they choose to do something similar”.
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