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Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said a £60m offer to help Greater Manchester deal with the toughest Covid restrictions “remains on the table”.

 

The area will get £22m to help enforce the “tier three” rules that begin in the area on Friday.

 

Mr Hancock said the “door is open” to more talks on a £60m package to support businesses and employees – but local leaders want at least £65m.

 

Labour mayor Andy Burnham said people faced a “a winter of real hardship”.

 

The 2.8 million people in Greater Manchester are the first to be forced into tier three, England’s highest level, against the wishes of local leaders.

 

Mr Hancock said “the deal on the table that the mayor of Greater Manchester walked away from” – which was £60m – was “a fair deal”.

 

But on Tuesday Mr Burnham claimed the offer was too low, saying: “I don’t think it is right to ask people to go into a lockdown… without supporting them through all of that.”

 

Read More on BBC.com

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Meanwhile, negotiations will continue on Wednesday over whether South Yorkshire will be next to move into the tier three restrictions.Under tier three, pubs and bars which do not serve substantial meals have to close, and there are further restrictions on households mixing. The government’s three-tier strategy of regional measures is designed to avoid a national lockdown.After ten days of talks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said with “regret” he would impose the tier three restrictions on Greater Manchester without local leaders’ agreement.As well as in an A shutting many pubs and bars, the restrictions mean betting shops, casinos, bingo halls, adult gaming centres and soft play areas will also have to close, while there is guidance against travelling in or out of the area.