In full: Boris Johnson updates the nation on Covid-19 strategy

Boris Johnson will hold a press conference on Friday afternoon to update the country on the latest news on the coronavirus strategy.

The Prime Minister has signalled that he will not force Manchester to go into Tier 3 restrictions as he said he would “much rather not impose things” on the city.

A standoff between the Government and local leaders continued today, with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham leading calls for more financial support for high risk areas.

Government sources have suggested “doing nothing” is not an option, but Mr Johnson appeared to hesitate today when he said “local leaders” should show the way.

Senior Government sources had suggested Greater Manchester would have to be put into the top tier “before the weekend” because of the high coronavirus infection rate and strain on the NHS.

Neighbouring Lancashire this morning agreed a deal with the Government to be put into tier three in exchange for a £42 million support package.

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