A GMCA spokesperson said: “Greater Manchester’s Leaders main objective this week was to avoid a local lockdown in Oldham so we are glad we have been able to agree this with the Government. Our second objective was to ensure areas with consistently low infection rates were taken out of the restrictions so the decision on Wigan’s restrictions being lifted is a welcome one.

“We have all been concerned about the situation in Oldham and this is why we have sought to work in partnership both with the local council and the Government to agree the most suitable and effective measures, as set out by Oldham Council. Increased measures to restrict the mixing of households are a much more sensible approach than local lockdown. We are pleased that the Health Secretary has listened to what Leaders said in their letter to him yesterday.

“It is also right that Government has lifted the restrictions for people living in Wigan given the consistently low infection rate. However it was also right that Wigan was included in the restrictions when they began as this has helped to keep rates low.

“The Government have also announced changes to the way local measures will be developed. Greater Manchester Leaders have always done their best to seek consensus and we welcome the input of local elected representatives as we have done around the changes in Oldham and Wigan. We are also already ensuring measures like increased testing is happening at a hyper-local level. However we believe that working at a borough level is the most effective way to tackle the virus as a patchwork approach to restrictions and lockdowns will be confusing to the public and impossible to enforce.

“The situation remains challenging and everyone in Greater Manchester must continue to observe social distancing, handwashing as well as wearing a face covering in indoor spaces. We will continue to support Oldham in the coming weeks, the strategy is showing signs of progress and we believe cases will continue to decrease in the borough and across Greater Manchester if we all follow the guidelines and collectively protect the health of everyone in Greater Manchester.”


Article Published: 21/08/2020 14:02 PM