Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram describes the closure of Tier 3 gyms and food regulations as ‘confusing’.

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Steve Rotheram also showed last night the scenes from the city center where, after the pubs and bars closed at 10 pm, large crowds gathered to celebrate outdoors.

The Mayor of Liverpool City said today that his team had questioned the wisdom of closing gyms and leisure centers as part of the Tier 3 Covid-19 closure for the area.

Mayor Rotheram said he and other leaders had asked for scientific evidence to support the closure of gyms and leisure centers, but none was provided.

The former Walton MP told ECHO: “This [serving food]is one of the things we highlighted in our discussions with Downing Street.

The Metro Mayor also said that Westminster’s instruction to close pubs but allow them to continue to act when they were selling “substantial meals” was clearly “confusing”.

The images taken in and around Concert Square on Tuesday evening “unsettled” him, he said.

“The people who have to implement these regulations will wonder which side of the equation they are on.

“And we said we needed further clarification because of the confusion, so we gave the government a few days to give an answer to the question of what makes a pub that sells hot food or a restaurant that sells beer different, so tell us which one.

“When it comes to getting it right with a legal definition, it’s too confusing.

“Everything we do, the local authorities, the police and the law enforcement agencies, they have to comply with state regulations, and that’s where this should have been tickled out.

“It is the government that must respond, not us.

Yesterday, the city’s mayor, Joe Anderson, expressed his anger at the closure of gyms and recreation centers, arguing that they were safer and more Covid-compliant than supermarkets.

For much of the day yesterday, the city government’s recreation center guidelines seemed unclear, as Liverpool employees said they were not sure if they should be closed and if swimming pools would be treated differently.

However, Whitehall responded by stating that as retail and educational facilities remained open, only hospitality and leisure facilities would need to be closed to achieve the drop in transmission rates.

Mr Rotheram said they had urged the government to provide scientific evidence that gyms and leisure centers were a significant breeding ground for infection, but none was available.

“It’s not a decision that was given to us, it’s a decision that the government had already made, and we said, ‘Show us why you chose these things?

He added: “What we asked for in all these things was scientific proof that this package of measures had the desired intention of reducing transmission rates, including gyms.

“And because there was very little room for maneuver when it was decided that the universities would stay open, when they said that the schools would not close, and when they did not want to close the retail outlets, there was very little room in these four areas, the last one being hospitality, so they could try to achieve the reductions.

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