On October 16, Boris Johnson expressed his concern over rapidly rising rates of infection in Manchester, but insisted that he has no plans to force the region into Tier 3 restrictions. But the Prime Minister did call for ‘action’ by local leaders, amid reports of a worrying increase in levels of hospitalisation.
“I’d much rather not impose things, I’d much rather that we were able to work out something together with local authorities, with the mayor in Manchester,” he explained.
“But it is up to local leaders to show the kind of leadership that we have seen in Liverpool, in Lancashire and in London.”
Greater Manchester, Warrington and Cheshire have all been placed under Tier 2 restrictions.
Affected areas include Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Manchester, Bolton, Bury, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Salford, Rochdale, Oldham and Warrington.
However, the Prime Minister warned he will intervene and impose Tier 3 restrictions on Greater Manchester if an agreement cannot be struck, as he heaped pressure on metro mayor Andy Burnham.
The Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference: “On recent trends, in just over two weeks there will be more Covid patients in intensive care than at the peak of the first wave so I urge the mayor to reconsider and engage constructively.
“I cannot stress enough: time is of the essence. Each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die.
“Of course, if agreement cannot be reached I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents. But our efforts would be so much more effective if we work together.”