Getting 'R' number below one key to lifting North West restrictions Prime Minister tells ITV News

The Prime Minister has told ITV News that getting the R number below one is the measure that will be used when deciding whether to lift local lockdown restrictions.

'R' reflects the number of people that one infected person passes the virus on to - if R is above one, the number of people catching the virus is going up, if R is below one, the number of people with the virus is decreasing.

The R number of coronavirus in England has risen from between 1.2-1.5 last week to 1.3-1.6, latest data from the government shows.

It comes as metro mayors in the North West of England demand to know what the 'exit strategy' from local lockdowns will be, after further restrictions for Liverpool City Region and Warrington were announced yesterday.

In an interview with ITV Granada Reports, the Prime Minister suggested people could opt not to follow the advice that comes as part of local restrictions, 'provided people show common sense.'