PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has warned he may intervene and impose tougher coronavirus restrictions on Bolton and Greater Manchester - if a deal cannot be reached with city region leaders.

The announcement over a Tier 3 crackdown has come as businesses in Bolton express frustration over ongoing wrangling between the politicians.

Officials have been in discussions over the matter for a number of days, and have been unable to reach an agreement after Mr Burnham, all 10 borough leaders, and the region’s 27 MPs pushed for more financial support.

But businesses have been left upset over the squabbling between central government and local leaders – with bars and pubs unable to know whether they’ll be allowed to open in the coming days.

Rachel Birch, from The Beer School in Westhoughton, pleaded for more clarity, saying the uncertainty was killing her business.

She said: “We’re incredibly disappointed, we’ve been watching Boris this afternoon and we’ve not got any answer.

“It’s the weekend, it’s our prime trading time, and we’ve got people calling up asking us whether we’re open and the only answer I’ve got is ‘for now’.

“I don’t know what to do – we’ve got thousands of pounds worth of stuff that’s all got dates on.

“We want to support the vulnerable people and we want to do what’s right but we deserve to know what to do, should I order stock? Should I put my staff on furlough?

“It’s just as sad as being in lockdown, I’m absolutely fuming and if I look down this street everyone has got their head in their hands. We’ve always done what’s asked of us and we’ve done it at great expense – it’s killing us.”

Last night Mr Johnson gave the region a grave warning.

He said: “On recent trends, in just over two weeks there will be more Covid patients in intensive care than at the peak of the first wave so I urge the mayor to reconsider and engage constructively.

“I cannot stress enough: time is of the essence. Each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die.

“Of course, if agreement cannot be reached I will need to intervene in order to protect Manchester’s hospitals and save the lives of Manchester’s residents. But our efforts would be so much more effective if we work together.”

No agreement has been reached so Bolton, along with the rest of Greater Manchester, will remain in Tier 2 lockdown.