New tighter restrictions have been introduced in Bolton following a spike in coronavirus cases.
People living in the town will no longer be allowed to mix with anyone outside their household and must only use public transport for ‘essential purposes’ only. The new measures, which were announced on Saturday evening and come into effect immediately, are aimed at preventing the need for a local lockdown, the council said.
The advice is to also avoid mixing with other households in any setting, whether it be indoors or outdoors unless they are part of a person’s “support bubble”. Bolton currently has the highest infection rate in the country at 104.3 per 100,000 people. The largest group affected are those between 18 and 49 years old, who account for more than 90per cent of the cases.
In a joint statement, council leader David Greenhalgh and chief executive Tony Oakman said: “It has been a tough period for individuals, families and businesses but we don’t want to throw away all our hard work by allowing the infection rate to rise even higher. Now, more than ever, we need everyone in Bolton to play their part. 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.”
“Since the start of this pandemic, the people of Bolton have worked incredibly hard to combat this pandemic. 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.”
Director of Public Health for Bolton Council, Dr Helen Lowey, said: “This is a crucial stage in our response to the coronavirus and what we will do now will significantly impact how quickly we can reduce the rate to as low a level as possible. We are carrying out extra testing, including giving out home testing kits, and are carrying out extra site visits to support businesses to be COVID secure, and carrying out enforcement where necessary. Evidence from Oldham and Blackburn shows stopping households mixing works.”