The Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham has said he is planning to reopen pubs and restaurants, which goes against the government’s advice.
He said there should be “standards led” easing of the lockdown measures and the Health and Safety Executive to decide if businesses can apply social distancing effectively.
He told Sky News, “I worry that if we’re going down the sectoral approach it could have heavy consequences for a city like Manchester, or say Blackpool – a town that really depends on tourism and hospitality.
“So the impact of a sectoral approach could hit certain places hard, so what I’m saying to the Prime Minister is think about a standards-led approach and actually create a national recovery council because we all need to have a voice in this debate.
“And these decisions that you are about to take are crucial to the economy of the North West of England and we need to be in the room debating it with you.”
He added, “Well I would have this overseen by the Health and Safety Executive so if people are making complaints that (social distancing) procedures aren’t being followed that there could be an investigation and people could be required to close again.
“We need to start thinking about building a better economy, building back better.
“So, one of the other ideas I would put forward today is that ongoing Government support for businesses should be linked to good employment standards and particularly payment of the real living wage.”
The Labour politician said, “We do need to get people ready for living in a very different way, for instance, I’m planning to have social distancing on public transport, so things aren’t going to be the same – we need to be honest with the public about all of that.”
“I think we’re going to see, in time, an inquiry into this one to say that things could’ve… should’ve been done better.
“And I’ve been quite supportive of some of the ways the Health Secretary has handled things, but I think his predecessor, the former health secretary, has some questions to answer because I don’t believe the plans put in place were as robust as they needed to be – but those questions are for another day and it is not for now.”