FITNESS fanatics were today left furious after gyms in Lancashire were allowed to remain open – despite Liverpool's being ordered shut.
Lancashire will go into Tier 3 of lockdown restrictions in a desperate attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus in the region.
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The move means bar and pubs in Lancashire will have to close unless they can operate as restaurants.
However, gyms will be allowed to stay open under the local lockdown restrictions.
But Liverpudlians have been left frustrated after going into the "very high" Tier 3 restrictions themselves this week – and being told their gyms would be closed.
While both regions are under the same basic tier restrictions, local leaders are allowed to add their own additional measures as they see fit.
It comes as:
- Eight more areas were moved into Tier two lockdowns, including Greater London
- 'Overstretched' cops say they won't enforce Wales' England travel ban
- Scotland could join Wales in banned travellers from UK Covid hotspots
- Half of brits are now living in Tier 2 or 3
- No action will be taken against travelling SNP MP Margaret Ferrier
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said on Twitter: "Liverpool City Region has demanded immediate clarification on why Lancashire gyms are allowed to stay open and Liverpool's close.
"Inconsistent mess, we now have Tier 3 A and Tier 3 B. "Are gym users in Lancashire more safer than those in Liverpool region?"
Wirral Council leader Jan Williamson added: "As Liverpool City Region leaders we demanding the evidence from Government immediately as to why our gyms have had to shut and Lancashire can keep theirs open.
"We need fairness and consistency, what we have is a shambles."
And locals quickly vented their frustrations, with one writing: "So tier 3 in Merseyside you can catch Corona virus in a gym so they’re shut but 5 minutes down the road in tier 3 West Lancs, gyms can stay open because obviously Covid stays away from Lancashire gyms?!!
Another added: "To go to the gym (Lancashire) or not to go to the gym (Liverpool) What’s that all about?"
Defending the move, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We have worked intensively with local leaders in Lancashire to agree on additional measures.
"Now is the time to put aside the politics and work together to get this virus under control."
But the leader of Preston City Council today said he had been "bullied" by the Prime Minister into accepting Tier 3 restrictions.
It comes after Boris Johnson today tore into Manchester mayor Andy Burnham for a lack of "leadership" as No10's battle with the north erupted into open warfare.
The PM turned up the heat on Mr Burnham for not agreeing to a Tier 3 lockdown – saying the restrictions are about "saving lives".
Boris was speaking as Manchester's leaders continued to block Downing Street's attempt to impose the highest level of restrictions – despite neighbouring Lancashire and Liverpool City Region agreeing to them.
A spokesperson for Lancashire confirmed their deal this morning, meaning 1.5 million people will be slapped with further curbs.
Another 11 .5million Brits will be under draconian controls as London, much of Essex and large parts of the North are put into Tier Two restrictions.
The latest measures in England, which will see half of the country in lockdown, sparked fury among Tory MPs who accused the PM of smuggling in a national lockdown by the back door.
They believe Mr Johnson has sacrificed businesses in the capital to kill off claims he was punishing the North with a stricter lockdown.
But last night No 10 angrily rejected the claim, warning the virus numbers are going the wrong way in the capital.
In the North, Tories dramatically united with Labour in Manchester and Lancashire to defy a No 10 bid to slap them with even tougher restrictions yesterday.
York, Chesterfield, Elmbridge in Surrey, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire and Erewash in Derbyshire, will also all go into Tier Two from 12.01am tomorrow.
People will be banned from meeting indoors anyone with whom they do not live.
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