The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has called on Government to force people to stay at home to safeguard public health and limit transmission of the coronavirus.

Burnham, speaking to Good Morning Britain on ITV, said: “We are entering a new phase of this outbreak and the government urgently needs to move to a new policy. We have had too many mixed and confusing messages. Absolute clarity is now needed.

“In today’s press briefing, the Government needs to announce a new stay at home policy, backing up the powerful calls from NHS staff over the weekend. This policy would allow only a very limited number of exceptions, for instance to collect shopping, and must come with clear arrangements for enforcement.”

Government should also use today’s press briefing to announce a new deal to protect the income of the self-employed and a commitment to house all those sleeping rough with immediate effect.

“Picking up the issue of the self-employed only being eligible to receive statutory sick pay […] You also can’t build a sense of national unity if some are having their wages covered but 5 million self-employed people are being told to live on statutory sick pay. The health secretary has said that he couldn’t live on it and nor should we expect others whose earnings have plummeted. This also needs to be corrected today.”