Covid: Greater Manchester and Lancashire in testing and vaccine push

Coronavirus vaccines and tests are being stepped up in areas of north-west England to try to deal with the rise in cases of the Delta variant.

The whole of Greater Manchester and Lancashire will get help from the military to carry out extra tests – similar to the tactics used in Bolton.

But local leaders have asked for extra jabs to vaccinate everyone even faster.

It comes as debate continues about whether England’s next lockdown easing will go ahead as planned on 21 June.

There is less than a week until the government is due to announce its decision about the reopening date.

After Covid hotspot Bolton saw a drop in infection rates through a vaccine push and extra testing, the government is now doing the same elsewhere in the region where cases are rising.

But the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has called on the government to go further and said vaccine supplies should be given to the area earlier than planned.

“We are not asking for any more vaccine here than our fair share, what we are asking for is the bringing forward of Greater Manchester’s supplies, so that we can run a surge vaccination programme over the next three weeks,” he said.