Government accused of treating the North ‘like a petri dish’ for local lockdowns as tougher restrictions are considered

Watch: Johnson expected to order pubs to shut in the north of England

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The government is treating the North “like a petri dish” for local lockdown experiments as harsher restrictions are considered, the mayor of the Liverpool City Region has said.

With coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the North of England and current local lockdown measures failing to stop the increase, the government is considering tightening measures only weeks after introducing new ones.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotherham told GMB: “What we’ve seen is an ever-widening North-South divide in measures being taken.

“Quite simply the North should not be a petri dish for experimentation by central government.”

Politicians across the North have criticised the Government over plans to close pubs and restaurants next week to tackle rising coronavirus cases.

The proposals, which have not been confirmed, appeared on the front pages of The Times,

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Madrid must impose travel restrictions or face state of emergency, Spanish government says

MADRID (Reuters) – Madrid must enforce travel restrictions ordered by the health ministry to limit novel coronavirus outbreaks or the national government will impose a state of emergency that would force it to comply, the government said late on Thursday.

The government will hold an extraordinary cabinet meeting on Friday morning to decree the state of emergency if Madrid does not impose the restrictions or request intervention, the government said.

Following a Health Ministry order, Madrid authorities reluctantly barred all non essential travel to and from the city and nine surrounding towns last Friday to curb the spread of COVID-19 in one of Europe’s worst virus hotspots. [nL8N2GZ2PQ][nL8N2GW30R]

A Madrid regional court on Thursday annulled the measures ordered by the national health ministry, ruling the government had overstepped its mandate and the restrictions interfered with fundamental human rights.

Declaring a state of emergency – the same legal framework that underpinned

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UK government mulling fresh restrictions amid virus spike

The British government is mulling fresh restrictions on everyday life in England amid mounting evidence that the measures so far have done little to keep a lid on new coronavirus infections

With the number of people needing to go to hospital with virus-related conditions rising, and in some areas in the north of England alarmingly so, the pressure on the government to do more is mounting.

“We are currently considering what steps we should take, obviously taking the advice of our scientific and medical advisers, and a decision will be made shortly,” British Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told the BBC on Thursday.

“In some parts of the country,

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Middlesbrough mayor vows to defy government over new Covid restrictions

Video: Middlesborough Mayor: ‘They are unacceptable’ (Sky News)

Middlesborough Mayor: ‘They are unacceptable’



More than 2 million people in Merseyside, Warrington and Teesside will be banned by law from mixing with other households indoors in the latest extension of lockdown restrictions, as Middlesbrough’s mayor took the extraordinary step of saying he was prepared to defy the government.

a group of people playing instruments and performing on a stage: Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty

a group of people playing instruments and performing on a stage: Pubs and restaurants in Liverpool account for half the business rates paid in the city.

© Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty
Pubs and restaurants in Liverpool account for half the business rates paid in the city.

The measures were announced as coronavirus cases continued to rise sharply in the north-west and north-east of England.

The new rules mean it will be illegal from Saturday for nearly 5 million people in those regions to meet others they do not live with in all indoor settings, including pubs, bars and restaurants. Similar rules came into force elsewhere in the

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Dutch government announces new restrictions to rein in virus

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch government introduced new nationwide restrictions Monday aimed at tackling the swift spread of coronavirus infections that is sweeping across the country, including banning supporters from professional sports matches and ordering bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. for the coming three weeks.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte also advised people to wear face masks when shopping in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, the three cities with the highest rates of infections, and said store owners can refuse entry to customers who aren’t wearing a mask.

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge warned that the nation is failing to control the virus and could face tougher measures if the tide isn’t turned soon.

“The bottom line is, we’re doing our best, but the virus is doing better,” De Jonge said in a nationally televised news conference with Rutte to announce the new restrictions. The package of

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Sage advisor warns government ‘current restrictions do not go far enough’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson scans his NHS Coronavirus App at Uxbridge Library earlier this week. (PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson scans his NHS Coronavirus App at Uxbridge Library earlier this week. (PA)

One of the government’s top scientific advisers has warned that the current social distancing measures aren’t enough to halt a second wave of coronavirus.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), said the government had been “too slow” to act in the initial stages of the pandemic.

He added that the recent decision to impose a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants “do not go far enough to reduce transmission”.

“It is for politicians to make these very tough decisions, but public trust, confidence and understanding are critical to effective public health – and at the moment that trust is fragile and fracturing,” Sir Jeremy wrote in The Times.

Sir Jeremy Farrar criticised the government's response. (Getty)
Sir Jeremy Farrar criticised the government’s response. (Getty)

“These will be difficult months for us all. It is

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