Andy Burnham: Lockdown easing should have been more staggered

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has criticised Boris Johnson’s relaxation of lockdown measures, due to come into force on July 4.

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, the former Labour Health Secretary said the approach had narrowly landed on the side of risk rather than caution.

The Prime Minister confirmed yesterday that from next Saturday large sections of the economy will be able to reopen, including pubs, restaurants and hairdressers.

The two-metre social distancing rule will also be reduced and two households will be able to meet up indoors.

Mr Burnham said that a change in so many rules over the weekend will be difficult for local authorities to manage.

“There’s a tough line to walk here but I think they’ve just come down on the side of the economy rather than health.

“They should have staggered the reopening to make it safer and more manageable for public authorities.”

But Business Secretary Alok Sharma defended the new measures, saying the easing of lockdown had always been carried out in a “very phased manner”.

He told Julia: “People have shown common sense and I very much hope that’s what they continue to do and that’s how we will ensure that there isn’t a second peak.”

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