A few hours after the arrival of FC Porto, Manchester received expected but unwanted news: Boris Johnson announced that Greater Manchester will enter, starting at midnight on Friday, at the level of 3 restrictions, the highest of the plan for halt the rise in Covid-19 cases in the UK.
“Given the public health situation, I have to declare the highest alert level for Greater Manchester. To fail to act now would be to put the lives of many Manchester residents at risk », justified the British Prime Minister in a statement to the country.
A decision that had been negotiated for a week with local officials, always with the opposition of the mayor Andy Burnham. “This is not a way to manage a national crisis”, he said, recalling that the pandemic attacked the North of England “more harshly” than other parts of the country due to “the rooted poverty” in that area.
Boris Johnson secured an economic support of 22 million pounds (about 24.2 million euros) for the region. “It is not enough to protect the poorest people in our community,” defended Andy Burnham, adding that at least £ 65 million (about € 71 million) would be needed to prevent rising “levels of poverty, difficulties and homeless numbers »in the face of restrictive measures.
Level 3 restrictions impose the closure of pubs and cafes and prevent people from different households from joining together indoors or outdoors. Gatherings are limited to a maximum of six people and travel is completely discouraged.
In the last 24 hours, the UK recorded 21,330 new cases of Covid-19 and another 241 deaths, increasing the number of deaths to 43,967, the highest in Europe.
FC Porto’s entourage has been since Tuesday afternoon in Manchester, where they face City this Wednesday (8 pm), at the opening of the group stage of the Champions League.