PM warns Manchester leaders he will intervene if they won't agree to Tier 3

Tier 3 lockdown restrictions will be imposed on Greater Manchester if leaders in the region cannot come to an agreement with the government, Boris Johnson has said.

Speaking at a news conference from Downing Street, flanked by chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, and government medical adviser Dr Susan Hopkins, the prime minister said: “If agreement cannot be reached, I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester residents.”

It comes after it was revealed that Lancashire was going into Tier 3 – the highest level of coronavirus restrictions in England – from midnight tonight.

Manchester’s leaders have been holding out for a stronger support package they say is needed to protect workers and businesses.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has branded the changes to the three-tier system unveiled on Monday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson an “inconsistent mess”.

Mr Johnson went on to speak about trialling fast testing systems.

Meanwhile, the R rate – the average number of people someone with coronavirus passes it on to – has risen slightly from between 1.2-1.5 to 1.3-1.5 this week.