LOCKDOWN restrictions will remain in place in Bolton and Trafford after all, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
This latest UK government U-turn means the measures imposed in some areas of the northwest of the country will not be lifted in the two towns overnight on Wednesday as originally planned.
As a result residents will not be able to meet up with people outside their so-called ‘bubbles’ and businesses will not be permitted to offer close contact services.
The reversal follows warnings from local politicians that the number of new Covid-19 infections in the areas was going back up.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham in particular had strongly criticized the plan.
On Wednesday afternoon Hancock said “a decision has been taken that Bolton and Trafford will now remain under existing restrictions.”
He said the move was a response to a “significant change in the level of infection rates over the last few days”, adding that the decision had been taken “in collaboration with local leaders after reviewing the latest data.”
Opposition politicians have been quick to jump on Boris Johnson’s administration for what they claim is a shambolic record on dealing with the pandemic.
Speaking earlier today at Prime Minister’s questions, Labour leader Kier Starmer accused the government of “making it up as he goes along.”
According to Starmer the government’s policy on the health crisis has been “mess after mess” and “U-turn after U-turn.”
Andy Burnham maintained the government’s approach is “confusing people” and “causing anger and resentment.”