Manchester firms still open despite lockdown, claims Andy Burnham

150 Manchester firms are still open despite coronavirus lockdown – many without good reason, claims Andy Burnham after a flood of complaints from workers

  • The Mayor of Greater Manchester called for stricter policy on businesses
  • He said he would seek legal advice about whether it was possible to take action
  • Total of 759 people have now died in UK hospitals after being diagnosed
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Andy Burnham has said that hundreds of firms in Manchester have remained open ‘without good reason’ during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester called for stricter policy on businesses from the government after being flooded with more than 300 complaints about 150 separate companies in his constituency.

He added that he would also be seeking legal advice about whether it was possible to enforce action against the business that were putting its employees at risk. 

Andy Burnham (pictured) has said that hundreds of firms in Manchester have remained open ‘without good reason’ during the coronavirus lockdown

Speaking to the BBC earlier today, Mr Burnham said that the announcements that Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock had both tested positive for Covid-19 brought ‘sharply into focus is the whole question of workplaces and are we doing enough to keep people safe in workplaces.’

He added: ‘The virus is doubling every two or three days and what I think is going on in some of our workplaces is contributing to that… 

‘I’m talking really about policy and workplaces across the country.

‘I received over 300 complaints when I put the call out for people to report what they thought was wrong.

‘And that named 150 companies – some of them had a good reason to be open but not all of them by any means.

‘And it seemed that some of them are nowhere near observing the safe distancing rules laid down by Public Health England. So I would like to see a stronger policy on workplaces now.

‘We are about to hit the critical phase of this and we shouldn’t be allowing this virus to spread unnecessarily.’

Mr Burnham tweeted yesterday with an update on the situation saying that he had been ‘inundated with complaints about firms not observing the 2m rule.’

He added: ‘I am now contacting all & will take action to protect the health of our residents. 

‘But again I ask this of the Government: please call time on non-essential work.’ 

He previously wrote: ‘I am taking legal davice  

It comes after a total of 759 people have now died in UK hospitals after being diagnosed with coronavirus with more than 14,500 conformed cases

It comes after the government announced that NHS staff would be tested from next week after hospital bosses reported a 50 per cent staff absence rate as many self isolated after showing symptoms. 

A total of 759 people have now died in UK hospitals after being diagnosed with coronavirus with more than 14,500 conformed cases. 

More than 18,000 doctors, nurses and other former NHS staff have volunteered to return to work to fight the virus.

The en masse effort came after NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens was forced to defend his track record heading the service after the country’s proportion of intensive care units before the crisis among the lowest in Europe.

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