Boris Johnson has issued a warning that he will intervene and impose Tier 3 restrictions on Greater Manchester if a deal cannot be agreed with the region's leaders.

Metro mayor Andy Burnham has fiercely objected to proposals to allow the city region to enter the Tier 3 restrictions unless there is sufficient financial support provided for businesses.

At the Downing Street press conference on Friday afternoon the Prime Minister said: “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.”

Mr Burnham has said that he supports a national 'circuit-breaker' lockdown instead of local restrictions.

However, Boris Johnson firmly expressed that he was opposed to this option.

He said: “Some have argued that we should introduce a national lockdown instead of targeted local action and I disagree.

“Closing businesses in Cornwall where transmission is low will not cut transmission in Manchester.

“So, while I can’t rule anything out, if at all possible, I want to avoid another national lockdown with the damaging health, economic and social effects it would have.”