01 Sep Coronavirus: Bolton Council asks for COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place after rise in cases | UK News
Bolton Council has asked the government to keep COVID-19 restrictions in place in the area a day before they were due to be lifted.
The move comes after a “sudden and unforseeable rise” in the coronavirus infection rate in the borough.
The government announced last week that different households in Bolton could meet indoors or in private gardens from Wednesday 2 September.
Local political leaders had argued for the removal of the restrictions due to a fall in cases.
However, council bosses have now asked for the measures to remain in place after figures revealed the local infection rate has jumped to 56.4 cases per 100,000 people.
The decision comes after council bosses held an emergency meeting over the rise in cases, which are not limited to a single area, community or place of work.
Certain businesses, including those offering close contact services, will not reopen as planned if the restrictions remain in place.
Infections between different households appear to be the main cause of the spike with people aged 18 to 49 representing the overwhelming majority of new cases.
David Greenhalgh, leader of the Bolton Council, said: “It is with a heavy heart that the cabinet and officer team have come to this decision and this will be incredibly disappointing for both residents and business owners.
“We urged the government to lift Bolton out of the additional restrictions at a time when infection rates were low. This was the right decision at the time.
“However, there has been a sudden and unforeseeable rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Bolton. We have always been led by the data, which means we have no choice but to act quickly to keep everyone safe.
“The rate stands at 56.4 per 100,000 which makes us a key area of concern within the UK. We need to take this seriously and follow the regulations.”
Dr Helen Lowey, Bolton Council’s director of Public Health, said: “When the request was made last week, COVID-19 cases were being managed in the community and rates were steadily falling.
“In a short space of time, that rate has jumped from 18.4 to 56.4. This highlights how quickly the virus spreads and the importance of following the regulations closely.
“Do not meet up with people you do not live with either inside or in a private garden. Maintain social distancing, wash your hand regularly and wear a face covering when required.”