Decisions by the UK Government over the Covid-19 lockdown have been too “London-centric,” Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has said.
He criticised comments by Boris Johnson saying that the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the UK is a result of a “fraying of people’s discipline” over the summer.
Most of the local lockdowns imposed in England have been in the Greater Manchester and Liverpool area, as well as the North-east of England. More than 20 million people are currently under further restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had denied that a lack of testing in the north of England had caused the virus to get out of control in the region.
“That’s not the reality… the nation came together in March and April, what happened over the summer was a bit of sort of fraying of people’s discipline and attention to those rules,” he said.
But Andy Burnham criticised the comments, saying that it was the UK Government’s focus on London that was to blame.
“I’m not liking this new narrative that northerners are to blame for restrictions,” he said.
“The timing of the lifting of national lockdown was London-centric. Please remember this the next time you see politicians pointing fingers at our people.”
Health is devolved to the Welsh Government in Wales which has imposed its own local lockdowns. Currently, all of Wales apart from Anglesey, Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Powys, Pembrokeshire and Monmouthshire are under further local lockdown restrictions.
Llanelli in Carmarthenshire is under further lockdown restrictions but the rest of the county is not.
There are still restrictions on business opening hours and gatherings of over three households in the areas under ‘national’ lockdown restrictions.
In the counties facing local restrictions, additional measures are in place, including restrictions on entering and leaving without a reasonable excuse, and meeting indoors with anyone who is not part of your household is not allowed.