Bolton and Trafford will remain under existing coronavirus restrictions “following a significant change in the level of infection rates over the last few days” Health and Care Secretary Matt Hancock has said in a Government U-turn.
The restrictions are still in place in five boroughs – Manchester, Salford, Rochdale, Tameside and Bury – with tougher rules in Oldham.
But the decision to remove Bolton and Trafford from restrictions was reversed this afternoon by Matt Hancock.
Bolton has seen a 200 per cent spike in cases over the last few days that has seen it spike into a ‘red alert’ level. It now has the worst infection rate in Greater Manchester and the second worst in the whole of the country, with its rate at 59.1 cases per 100,000 people.
Yesterday, council leaders in the borough wrote to the government asking for lockdown to be extended.
It is similar in Trafford, where rates have spiked to 37.1 cases per 100,000 people.
Its council leader, Andrew Western, and director of public health, Eleanor Roaf, opposed the decision to remove the borough from lockdown when the government announced it last Friday.
Yesterday, Coun Western wrote to the government blasting the ‘chaotic’ way it had handled local lockdowns. He said he was ‘very disappointed’ that the government had ignored his own concerns and those of others locally and made what he labelled a ‘purely political calculation’.