Lockdown plans which could see 10 million citizens in the north living under tighter restrictions have provoked fury on social media.
Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Nottingham are all believed to be in line for tougher measures as infections surge.
It is thought hospitality businesses will be shut under the new lockdown restrictions – but shops, offices and schools will stay open.
However, the immediate future of hairdressers, gyms and and leisure centres is still under consideration.
It is believed the new system will comprise of three ‘tiers’. Tier 1 will see current social distancing measures and the current rule of six enforced. There will be a ban on households mixing in Tier 2 areas. And areas in Tier 3 will face a hospitality lockdown.
We will defy.
The Prime Minister’s upcoming restrictions echo those announced by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Wednesday, October 7).
Pubs and restaurants in Scotland are banned from selling alcohol indoors for 16 days from Friday .
But the drip drip drip approach of the Prime Minister has infuriated politicians on all sides, as well as many of those in the north who voted for him last December.
Defiant reactions to new lockdown restrictions
Lancashire Tory MP Jake Berry accused the PM of falling into a”fatal trap of making national decisions on a London-centric view with London-centric data”.
He said: “The Scottish proposals on effectively banning alcohol consumption represent a new low in Covid restrictions.
“If people can’t have a drink to get through this crisis, then what can they do?”
Mr Berry warned: “It would be an act of economic suicide for England to follow this path.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham also expressed his displeasure at finding out about the measures through the press.
He tweeted: “No discussion. No consultation. Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat.”
“It is proving impossible to deal with this Government.”
Many other northerners also made their resentment clear on social media.
And there were also suggestions by some commenters that they might ‘boycott’ any new restrictions.
Will northerners ‘boycott’ the tiered lockdown?
One person begged Mr Burnham: “Please fight to get the lockdown lifted in the north.”
“Children and young people are suffering – they cannot socialise with their friends. This is heartbreaking.”
Another person warned: “It will be really grim up north, no joke… .and will likely be ignored in many quarters.”
“Tell the north to ignore their lockdown restrictions and let businesses open up and carry on regardless. They can’t fine everyone,” advised another dissenter.
Someone else wrote ominously: “The government are playing with fire now. They have now crossed a line.”
No discussion. No consultation.
Millions of lives affected by Whitehall diktat.
It is proving impossible to deal with this Government. https://t.co/1lcRRNvptd
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) October 7, 2020
And another chuckled bitterly: “Hahaha try to put more lockdown in the north. We take no notice now, you div.”
Yet another person demanded: “We need someone to stand up for us in the north of England. There may be blood on the streets if this Government keeps going with its lockdown policies.”
And another social media user threatened: “We will defy and cause civil unrest.”
“Seems more of a punishment than an actual attempt to slow the spread of the virus,” another Twitter user reflected.
How will breaches be dealt with?
Meanwhile, someone else pondered: “Well, with impeding further lockdown measures being muted for up here in the north – despite lockdown measures currently in place not halting the huge rise in cases – it will be interesting to see what ‘measures’ will be taken against those who breach them?”
Another person raged: “The north are lockdown lab rats right now.”
Someone else warned the PM: “The north of England took a leap of faith voting for you and you spat in their faces. What industry and hospitality business they had you’ve absolutely destroyed and what little they have left will vanish if you impose a second lockdown. You will never be forgiven.”
Another fumed about the Government: “Mixed messages and watered down responses have helped the economy but loosened the control we had on Covid.”
Why isn’t Parliament voting on these new measures?
And someone else wondered: “Can anyone explain how he is able to enforce a lockdown in the north from Monday? I thought Parliament had a vote on these decisions now? How can he claim a state of emergency and make these decisions with no evidence to back this up? It’s just getting far too much!”
“We will continue to take a proportionate and a localised response”
On #BBCBreakfast Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick confirms a decision will be made shortly on whether tighter coronavirus restrictions are needed in parts of England. https://t.co/zu9oBDWehw pic.twitter.com/Z0ams3sgAc
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) October 8, 2020
Cabinet minister Robert Jenrick then ‘evaded’ questions on BBC Breakfast, compounding frustration on social media.
One observer reacted: “This interview was a blueprint for all politicians on how to avoid answering a straightforward question”
Another person congratulated presenter Charlie Stayt: “Great effort Charlie but he was a complete waste of time as usual. He didn’t answer a single question.”
And a third added: “Robert Jenrick squirming out of answering straightforward questions on next week’s announcement on lockdown changes. Top man Charlie! Your frustration represents an entire country.”
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