New restrictions for Bolton after coronavirus infections soar


Bolton residents have been told not to mix with people from other households after the town’s coronavirus infection rate became the highest in England.

The rules apply to meetings indoors and outdoors, unless a person is part of a support bubble, Bolton Council said.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the council has said public transport should only be used for essential travel, including getting to work, school, or a medical appointment.

Bolton is the worst-affected area in the country, with a weekly infection rate of 99 cases per 100,000 people, overtaking Pendle (71.1), Oldham (55.6) and Blackburn with Darwen (48.3).

More than 90% of cases in the town are people aged between 18 and 49-years-old, and council bosses are urging young people in particular to adhere to the new coronavirus rules.

Council leader David Greenhalgh said the measures have been brought in after consultation with Public Health England.

He said: “Now, more than ever, we need everyone in Bolton to play their part.

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“Nobody wants these restrictions to remain a moment longer than necessary and we believe these new measures will keep everyone safe and help avoid a full lockdown in Bolton.

“Alongside a range of additional measures and interventions across Bolton we are asking everyone, particularly the younger age groups, to continue to follow the guidelines.”

Dr Helen Lowey, director of public health at Bolton Council, added: “Evidence from Oldham and Blackburn shows stopping households mixing works.

“For this to work, we all need to play our part to protect our vulnerable friends and relatives.”

Some other parts of Greater Manchester will see restrictions eased on Tuesday after case rates fell low enough to justify lifting lockdown measures.

Casinos, bowling alleys, indoor play areas and conference centres will be able to reopen, and close-contact beauty services will be able to resume, but cases in Bolton are still too high, the Department of Health and Social Care said this week.

Restrictions are also being lifted next week in Leicester, West Yorkshire and Lancashire, which have also all been on the government’s watchlist.

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