GREATER Manchester residents have been urged to 'minimise' the number of people they watch England's match against Croatia with this weekend as Covid-19 cases rise in areas.

Parts of the city-region and Lancashire have seen a surge in cases - although infections are dropping in Bolton.

Metro mayor Andy Burnham has encourage residents to be careful this weekend. 

He told BBC Breakfast: “If you look to this weekend with the weather looking good in Greater Manchester, which is great for everybody with the football coming, we would say minimise the number of people you watch the match with. Watch it outside if you can.”

He also praised the Government for “surging support” into areas where there are high case numbers after Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that a “strengthened package of support” will be provided for Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

“We very much appreciate the help of the Government. It’s a reversal of where we were last year,” he said. “Then we were getting restrictions put on us without support.

"This is an approach where the restrictions are being managed nationally through the road map. We’ve been working closely with the Government on this. It’s a sensible approach and we support it.”