Liverpool, along with Warrington, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool have been ordered into social lockdown (Thursday October 1) and will come into effect on Saturday October 3rd.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the rules would be the same as those announced earlier in the week for the north east of England .
Addressing the House of Commons he said: “We recommend against all social-mixing between people in different households. We will bring in regulations, as we have in the north east, to prevent in law social mixing between people in different households in all settings except outdoor public spaces like parks and outdoor hospitality.”
The Government also announced £7m of funding to local authorities for support – a figure subsequently described by political and business leaders as a “drop in the ocean”.
Responding to the announcement, Paul Cherpeau, chief executive of the Liverpool Chambers of Commerce, said: “We need to strike the right balance between health and the economy and it is a devastating blow that Liverpool will be placed into a tighter lockdown. We need to learn to live with this pandemic in the long term.
“Shutting down our hospitality sector will hurt some of our smallest businesses and greatest independents that are the lifeblood of this city and we cannot do this without a robust and immediate framework of support from the Government for the hospitality and events industry.”
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson and council leaders of Liverpool City Region released a statement: As Leaders of the Liverpool City Region, we all understand why further restrictions may be needed to halt the spread of Covid-19 in the communities we represent.
“Cases are now averaging well over 200 per 100,000 people across our region – in some boroughs, much higher. Throughout the pandemic, we have always put the health of our residents first and we will continue to do everything we can to stop the spread of Coronavirus and keep as many people as possible safe.
“However, at the same time, we must be clear that any further restrictions will deal a hammer blow to our economy.
“Our region is an international destination, and our visitor economy is worth almost £5bn to the city region economy every year, employing over 50,000 people. Over recent years, our hospitality and retail industries have been vibrant and growing. But, in the last six months, we have already seen many of these businesses go under in the face of Covid-19 and, without Government assistance over the past few months, many more would have followed.
“While we protect lives, and our NHS, we must act now to protect the businesses that provide the livelihoods and jobs upon which our 1.6 million residents depend.
“We are calling on the Government to work with us. If Government decide that new restrictions are required, they must also provide a comprehensive package of financial support for our economy and our public services.
“We are fully committed to working in partnership with national government, but we need the right support and resource to help us at a regional level. And we need it now.”