LONDON: Tighter coronavirus restrictions have been introduced in Bolton, including only allowing takeaways and curtailing nightlife, after a rise in cases. The new measures will require all hospitality venues to close between 22:00 and 05:00.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the town in Greater Manchester had “the highest case rate in the country.” He said there were 120 cases per 100,000 in Bolton, which had already been under stricter lockdown measures, BBC has reported.
The announcement comes after ministers and government advisers expressed concern over a “sharp rise” in cases across the UK, especially amongst the young.
Mr Hancock told the House of Commons: “Unfortunately, after improving for several weeks, we’ve seen a very significant rise in cases in Bolton. “The rise in cases in Bolton is partly due to socialising by people in their 20s and 30s. We know this from contact tracing. And through our contact tracing system we’ve identified a number of pubs at which the virus has spread significantly.”
The new measures, which come into place immediately, include:
All hospitality for food and drink (restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs) are now restricted to takeaway only.
Late night restriction of operating hours, meaning all venues, including takeaways, will be required to close from 22:00 to 05:00 A ban on mixing outside households in public outdoor settings, which will be enforceable by law
As well as restricting hospitality venues, Mr Hancock said visitor limits will also be put in place in care homes in Bolton.
He said: “I want us to learn the lesson from Spain, America and France – not to have to learn the lesson all over again ourselves through more hospitalisations and more deaths, and take this action locally in Bolton.”
Earlier, Mr Hancock told MPs that a “sharp rise” in coronavirus cases in recent days in the UK was “concerning” and the increase had been across the whole country rather than in localised “hotspots”. Other parts of the UK face are also facing tougher restrictions.
Matter of concern
Meanwhile, the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said that the UK is entering a “period of particular concern” as the number of coronavirus cases rise across the country. He said “we all have to be very cautious” after 2,948 new UK cases were recorded on Monday. The government’s scientific advisers have given stark warnings over the increase in Covid-19 cases.
Mr Jenrick told BBC Breakfast: “The virus is still very much with us, it’s still concerning.”He said if people followed the government’s guidance “we should be able to continue to control the virus but we’re going to have to be especially cautious as we go into the autumn and winter”.
“If we all play our own part then we should be able to maintain our daily lives in this sort of new normal but we’ve got to be very cautious because, as you’ve seen, the number of cases is rising.”