Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has urged the government not to “let everything loose” after it emerged that families could be allowed to meet for up to a week as part of a UK-wide relaxation of coronavirus rules.
Several families could be allowed to join a bubble and to mix between December 22 and 28, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Downing Street insiders have suggested that discussions on what Christmas will look like are still ongoing.
But Burnham said that while infection rates were dropping in all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester and other parts of the North West, the government should not “let everything loose”.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I would also say to the government, don’t just go towards Christmas and let everything loose.
“What you need to do is keep a steady approach that will keep the numbers going in the way they are currently going in the North West and in Greater Manchester, and that will relieve the pressures on the NHS come January.”
On Friday, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were “substantial differences” in Covid-19 infection rates across England, with rates having continued to increase in London, the east of England and the South East, but decreasing in the North West and the East Midlands.