Greater Manchester is eagerly awaiting to see if it will move to tier two on Saturday.
Local leaders, including Mayor Andy Burnham, are pushing for the move.
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Despite much opposition from Mr Burnham, Greater Manchester placed first tier three at the end of October and returned to the top tier immediately after the lockout on December 2nd.
Pubs and restaurants in the area have been closed for months, but there is hope that they may be allowed to reopen before Christmas.
Will Manchester move to tier two?
The situation is complicated. In the UK for the seven days to December 9, there were an average of 172.8 Covid 19 cases per 100,000 people.
Manchester’s number was slightly higher during the same period – 176.9.
Parts of Greater Manchester are significantly lower, especially Trafford and Damside, both of which were under 100.
On the other hand, both Barry and Rochdale reported more than 200 infections per 100,000 people, and Wigan’s rate is also high.
This means that it is not possible to see Greater Manchester moving a blanket layer two.
However, the region is likely to split.
Government ministers, including Boris Johnson, are meeting on Wednesday, December 16 to review the layers. Any moves are expected to be announced during the evening TV press conference that day.
The changes will take effect from Saturday, meaning they will be in effect for four days before the nationwide deregulation at Christmas – the festive bubble is now said to be in jeopardy.
What did the local leaders say?
Mr Burnham said he believed there was a “strong case” for the move to Greater Manchester two.
“We have been in control for five months and I think we expect the government to give us a little bit of confidence and reward the good people of Greater Manchester who followed the restrictions,” he said.
Sir Richard Lees, Chairman of Manchester City Council, added: “We will work very hard to keep the whole of Greater Manchester in tier two.”
However, Oldham, Barry, Damside and Rochestale councils have all said they want to be in tier three.