Leaders across Merseyside and Cheshire are calling on the government to increase coronavirus testing capacity in the region immediately.
Merseyside was last week identified by the government as an ‘area of concern’, as cases of Covid-19 increased.
Today, officials said they expect the city region to have further coronavirus restrictions imposed if the infection rate of the virus continues to rise across the city.
In a joint call, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, and the Leaders of four Cheshire Local Authorities are calling on the government to increase testing capacity, which they say is urgent to protect the most vulnerable and to avoid further lockdown restrictions.
“Today we have come together to speak with one voice and urge the Government to immediately deploy additional testing capacity in our region," said Steve Rotheram.
The North West currently has 24% of England’s Covid-19 cases but only around 15% of the national testing capacity.
“This cannot be right and is hampering our effort to protect the most vulnerable in our communities and avoid further, more drastic and damaging lockdown measures.
“My colleagues and I are fully committed to working in partnership with national government, but we need the right support and resource to help us at a regional level.
“We hope for an immediate, positive response from Government, which is fundamental to us getting the virus under control in our region.”