Frank McKenna, Chief Executive of Downtown in Business, the private sector lobbying group, is calling on the Government to review the three-tier system every week, rather than every fortnight. 

Frank said: “The Government should review those places particularly in tier 3 on a weekly basis, rather than every fortnight because, as we have seen with this virus, a lot can change in a week and easing of the restrictions by just a few days can also make a significant difference to the local economy. 

Greater Manchester is seeing rates of infection falling dramatically now, it is a very dynamic situation, so we now need some dynamic decision-making from Government.” 

Mr. McKenna continued: “The Government should review tier 3 places, particularly Greater Manchester’s, at the beginning of next week instead of leaving it until the 16th December. Opening these places for two weeks before Christmas, as opposed to just one, will make all the difference to many hospitality businesses.  

In fact, some business owners have told me that it is unlikely they would open for five days if the Government decide to put Greater Manchester in tier 2 on the 19th December. They argue that it would just not be financially viable for last-minute trade they may or may not pick up.” 

With a House of Commons vote on the tier system tomorrow, Mr. McKenna stated: “MPs must press the Government to hold weekly reviews of the tier system, this is a fast-changing situation which requires more dynamic decision-making. If an area is making good progress on reducing the infection rate and hospitals are not being overwhelmed then restrictions should be eased, our local economies are also under extreme pressure and everyday counts.” 

Frank finally stated: “I hope politicians and Government see the logic in being more responsive and dynamic in dealing with this pandemic. Decision-making doesn’t have to be cumbersome; we need real-time action that helps protect our people, but also opens up our economy at the right moment.”