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Prime Minister Boris Johnson will give further updates on the Government’s coronavirus strategy in the commons on Monday. This comes as the UK grapples with an ever growing number of coronavirus cases, which have already led to strict rules in Scotland.
A further 13,864 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK were reported on Friday, and 87 more deaths were confirmed.
These deaths were of people who died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.
The North of England in particular is being closely watched as cases spike and studies show the rapidity of diagnoses.
Figures suggested coronavirus cases are doubling about twice as fast in the North West, Yorkshire and the West Midlands as for the whole of England.
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Mr Johnson is expected to outline a new three-tiered system of coronavirus restrictions on Monday.
This is expected to cause pubs and restaurants to shut across the north of England.
Mr Johnson will reveal the full details of the much-anticipated approach in a statement to the House of Commons.
This follows intense criticism of the Government for not keeping MPs properly informed of ongoing changes to lockdown rules.
The news comes after the Prime Minister’s chief strategic adviser Sir Edward Lister wrote to northern MPs after a meeting with leaders from the North on Friday.
The letter warned leaders it was “very likely” the region would be hit with tougher rules.
In the letter, which has been shared online, Sir Edward stated “rising incidence” of COVID in parts of the country mean it is “very likely” certain local areas will face “further restrictions”.
The letter added the Prime Minister believed local leaders should “help shape the package of measures in the most concerning areas”.
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The Government will discuss “difficult choices” with local leaders, the letter stated.
This comes as today Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new package of measures to help those facing closures to tackle coronavirus cases.
Workers in pubs, restaurants and other businesses which are forced to close under the new restrictions will have two thirds of their wages paid by the Government in the new financial scheme.
Mr Sunak insisted the new support was “very different” to furlough, which he had previously refused to extend.
He argued it was “fundamentally wrong” to hold people in jobs which only existed inside the scheme.
The support, which launches on November 1 and lasts for six months, will see the Government pay two thirds of each employee’s salary – up to a maximum of £2,100 a month – if their employer is legally required to close their premises because of restrictions.
Businesses will be able to claim the grant when they are subject to restrictions and employees are off work for at least seven consecutive days. Venues which are already legally closed, such as nightclubs, will also be eligible.
In a joint statement, mayors from the north of England said the measures announced by Rishi Sunak were “a start” but may not go far enough.
The letter was signed by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Mayor of North Tyne Jamie Driscoll, Mayor of Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis and Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram.
They said: “We are pleased that the Government has listened and recognised that any new system of restrictions must come with a substantial package of financial support.
“What has been announced by the Chancellor today is a start but, on first look, it would not appear to have gone far enough to prevent genuine hardship, job losses and business failure this winter.
“Mayors and leaders from across the north will be meeting tomorrow to discuss it in more detail and we will make a further statement then.”
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