Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson would support harsher Tier 4 restrictions 'if needed': This virus takes no prisoners

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People walk through Liverpool city centre, after lockdown measures were eased in July: PA
People walk through Liverpool city centre, after lockdown measures were eased in July: PA

Liverpool's City Mayor has said he would welcome Tier 4 Covid-19 restrictions on the city, saying: “This disease takes no prisoners.”

Joe Anderson, whose brother Bill died after contracting the virus, said he would "back tougher measures if necessary" if current Tier 3 rules prove to be ineffective at halting the spread of the virus.

Liverpool City Region was the first in the UK to be placed under the tougher Tier 3 restrictions on October 14, which meant a ban on households mixing in most locations, with bars and pubs not serving food told to close.

But there is a concern in Whitehall that the strictest restrictions, already in place in vast swathes of the country, will not be enough to bring R below 1 before Christmas.

Watch: What is meant by its 'basic reproduction number'?

As reported in the i newspaper, possible measures include a fourth tier or short “circuit-breaker” lockdowns in areas with the highest case rates. A fourth tier could see restaurants and non-essential retail stores close, the paper said.

Mr Anderson told BBC Breakfast: “It has taken untold damage on people's wellbeing and a huge toll on families where people have died. If anything was required to bring it down faster I would do that.

“However, I want to make sure that we are giving Tier 3 a chance to see if the measures have an impact.”

He said he would review the results of Tier 3 restrictions in around a fortnight’s time.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson wouldn't rule out stricter Tier 4 measures (PA)
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson wouldn't rule out stricter Tier 4 measures (PA)

He added: “It's a disease that takes no prisoners, it is heartless in the way it deals with people.

"This virus isn't going to go away until we get a vaccine."

The city leader, who also lost his other brother Henry to cancer recently, spoke of his anger at seeing protests with people denying the existence of the virus hours after Covid-19 claimed his brother Bill's life.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "When I saw some of those people, smiling and dancing on the Saturday, I was looking at them and thinking 'are they serious? What planet are they on?”

Most pubs and bars in the city were forced to close under the Tier 3 rules.

After footage emerged of revellers gathering in large groups and partying hours before the restrictions came into force, Mr Anderson said the scenes "shame our city".

Liverpool has received an extra £14 million to help with contract tracing and enforcement, Manchester £22 million and South Yorkshire £11.2 million after moving into Tier 3.

On Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government would “take nothing off the table” when asked about the prospect of a new fourth tier of restrictions.

The Health Secretary told the BBC: “We rule nothing out but at the moment the three-tier system is what we’re working to and it’s effective in slowing the growth of this virus but it hasn’t brought this curve to a halt.”

Mr Anderson’s comments come as a group of 50 Tory backbenchers representing northern constituencies have urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to detail a “road-map out of lockdown” amid fears the pandemic is threatening his election pledge to “level-up” the country.

Watch: How will England's three-tier local lockdown system work?

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