The COVID-19 regulations will be in effect in Bolton and Trafford – after another U-turn by the government, removing local locks but facing calls from councils to keep them.
Both local councils cited increases Corona virus Infections require restrictions to remain with Trafford Council’s Control Working Group for a week or two “for public safety benefits”.
The Bolton Council said the “sudden and unexpected rise” COVID-19 Cases should be taken “seriously”.
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Announcing that the current locks would continue, Health Secretary Matt Hankok said infection rates had “more than tripled in a week in Bolton, doubling in Trafford since the last review”.
This means residents of Bolton and Trafford will not be allowed to interact with other homes in their own homes, gardens, hotels or restaurants for future use.
However, community meetings may resume today for the first week in a row as planned in Stockport, Burnley, Hindburn and parts of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.
Recent public health UK data for Bolton show that the weekly incidence rate is now 66.6 per 100,000. This compares with 18.9 from 17th to 23rd August.
Similarly, the rate at Trafford has risen from 17.8 to 36.8.
Mr Hancock said: “Following significant changes in infection rates over the past few days, it has been decided that Bolton and Trafford will remain under existing controls.
“This decision was made in consultation with local leaders after reviewing the latest data.”
He added: “Rates can be reduced if we continue to work together, and I urge everyone to continue to play their part by following the rules – check if you have symptoms, isolate yourself and adhere to social distance.”
Local political leaders in Bolton have argued for deregulation as cases have fallen – but have changed their minds as cases have escalated.
The city council said the analysis shows that new cases are not limited to one area, community or place of work.
Infections between different households appeared to be the main cause of the spike, with 18-49 year olds representing the majority of new cases.
Council leaders in Trafford had suggested maintaining controls to wait for additional evidence of a continued downward trend in positive events, but they were violated by the government.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham had previously said the easing of restrictions in the areas was “completely unreasonable” and stressed that people should “follow the guidelines” so that they do not hold community meetings in their home.
He said Trafford residents could now be “disappointed” by today’s decision, saying “their hopes should never be raised”.
“The government should have listened carefully to what was being said,” he told Sky News.
He urged ministers to adopt an “exit strategy” from the remaining local controls, arguing that a “more sophisticated, targeted approach” was necessary.
“We all feel that we need to plan beyond these restrictions, where they can be eliminated, and we can enter a new phase, which is a great way to manage the risks we face,” he said.
“The most influential interventions in our communities – door-to-door, testing and tracking and getting news to local communities – are Rochdale, Oldham, Stockport,
He added that without financial assistance to isolate the people, the government’s testing and tracking system would not function.
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