Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has called for those with Bolton postcodes with Covid symptoms to get priority tests.

He said the current situation on lack of community testing was causing ‘real distress’.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, he said: “On testing we are asking Government to prioritise the areas with the highest infection rates for bookings.

“We simply can’t have a situation where those with symptoms in Bolton can’t access appointments.

“The booking website needs to recognise post codes in Bolton and prioritise as soon as possible.

“It seems it’s a major short term problem.

“Actually there have still been a steady and significant number of tests. There have been tests carried out it’s the extra surge in demand."

Deputy Mayor Beverley Hughes said that enforcement of Covid restrictions in Bolton and Greater Manchester would also be escalated by police and council officials.

She said: “Over last weekend there were over 500 reports of people breaking restrictions, mainly house parties of which there were 350 reports.

“There were also reports about supermarkets where it’s perceived the measures limiting numbers and one-way systems are falling away.

“There were 27 fixed penalty notices issued, licensed premises were visited and officers followed up on quarantine reports.

“In Bolton where restrictions were taken to another level there was joint work with police and local enforcement looking at problem areas and those targeted activities will continue.

“We are now taking an escalated approach to enforcement and we are signalling this to the public in a communications campaign.

“We also want to plug the gaps in legislation preventing enforcement such as closing premises.

“Most members of the public engaging with police will be treated in the same way but for those ignoring restrictions we will enforce rules much more rapidly.”

Andy Burnham, said: “In summary with enforcement we are targeting effective intervention rather than blanket restrictions but what but we are asking for is extra powers to close premises causing a problem.”