The mayor of Manchester has called for the government to give each English region a place in the next Cobra meeting.

Andy Burnham said the government should reconvene Cobra as a matter of urgency - and that regions in England should be represented.

He said more focus on the needs of northern communities and businesses was needed, with large parts of the North of England under local restrictions and a “north-south divide” on access to testing.

He said: “I am today calling on the Prime Minister to give a place for all of the English regions on a reconvened Cobra, alongside London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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“The North of England is experiencing the highest number of cases but also the greatest difficulty in accessing tests.

“This north-south testing divide can’t be right and is exactly the kind of issue that a reconvened Cobra needs to resolve. The North needs to be levelled up on testing without delay.”

Mr Burnham said giving all of the English regions a place on a reconvened Cobra would "improve dialogue between local and national government and speed up decision-making".

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned on Friday that greater measures may have to be put in place "if we want to avoid another full-scale lockdown".

She repeated her warning yesterday stating "Today’s report underlines fact that COVID is rising. The Scottish Government is considering over the weekend what further action is needed."

Ms Sturgeon said she had asked Boris Johnson to convene a meeting of the UK-wide Cobra emergency group this weekend to discuss the worsening picture.

Health secretary Jeane Freeman said on Sunday: "We're not seeing community transmission at this point, but are seeing large clusters and outbreaks of cases in some parts of Scotland.

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"So we're working this weekend with scientific and clinical advisers to understand what might be the additional measures that we can put in place.

"We certainly will have an announcement very shortly. Not necessarily today, but definitely by the early part of next week."

She added that Ms Sturgeon had hoped to have a Cobra meeting with the four nations this weekend to discuss measures "to see if we could reach a shared view", but that the Prime Minister was still considering the request.