As the government has ordered a borough-wide introduction of strict new measures in Bolton as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, Bolton’s leader has described the move as necessary to control the spread of the virus.

The move comes as the local infection rate reached 120 cases per 100,000, meaning Bolton has a higher rate than anywhere in the country.

Those aged 18-49 account for the majority of the cases.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said:

“This is not something we want to do, but it is clear the virus is currently moving round the borough uncontrolled and so we need to halt the transmission rate.

“The rate has gone from 15 cases per 100,000 to over 120 in the space of 2 weeks, and if we do not get control of the virus now, we will continue to put our most vulnerable residents at risk and delay any return to normality.

“We are working across the council with the government and our partners to bring down the number of cases of this deadly virus, and to continue to press government for extra support for the hospitality sector as they are once again asked to close their doors.

“The best way to do that is to limit the number of contacts people have. Be under no illusion, we are in this position due to the irresponsible actions of a few which has led to a position where our rates are at a level where government had no choice but to take action.

“Nobody wanted this, but we must now prove what our borough is made of, follow the guidance in order to have these restrictions lifted. Together we can beat the virus, we can reduce these rates if we all play our part.”

Dr Helen Lowey, the Director of Public Health for Bolton Council, said:

“I appreciate that this news will be disappointing and concerning, but this is not a decision we have taken lightly.

“We can assure you that we have taken all the data into consideration and we are left with no alternative.

“As well as these additional measures, please remember the importance of washing hands regularly, maintaining distance and getting a test if you have symptoms.”


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