BORIS Johnson has not ruled out a return to the regional Covid tier system on a visit to Cheshire today.

However, the Prime Minister added that the government sees ‘nothing in the data to make us think we will have to deviate from the roadmap’.

Mr Johnson was speaking from AstraZeneca’s Macclesfield campus, announcing a £380 million investment to boost production of the company’s Zoladex oncology treatment.

When asked if he would rule out a return to the regional restriction system seen last year, the Prime Minister said: “We look at the data from around the country and in the North West, and North East, where it’s been a little bit stubborn in the last year or so, but we see nothing in the data to make us think we will have to deviate from the roadmap.

“We look very carefully at the data across the country — there have actually been times where the decline in the North West has been faster than other parts of the country. 

“At the moment we think the roadmap is the right one, it’s clear, and we’re sticking to it for the whole country. 

A video summary of the PM's comments by Local Democracy Reporter Ethan Davies

“The people of this part of the world have put up with a huge amount, and contributed a massive amount to get [through] Covid. I know how hard it’s been for families across the North West.”

His comments follow a small increase in the infection rates in Cheshire, with the Cheshire West and Chester borough cases climb to the 70 per 100,000 mark in the past few weeks.

Knutsford Guardian: Image: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing StreetImage: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street

The rise has since subsided, but is one of a number of areas where decreases in new cases have slowed due to the unlocking of British society.