Takeaways only for people in Bolton and curfew sees all bars shut by 10pm

Hospitality venues are being restricted to takeaway only in Bolton as part of new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the town.

Yesterday the Greater Manchester borough was put on ‘red alert’ along with six others after infection rates went above the Government’s local lockdown threshold of 50 cases per 100,000 people.

Restrictions on visiting other households and non-essential use of public transport were put in place in Bolton on Saturday after its infection rate became the worst in England.

The town has 120 cases per 100,000 people, with those aged 18 to 49 accounting for 90% of infections.

Speaking in the Commons today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the surge of infections is partly due to people in their 20s and 30s socialising, with a number of pubs identified as local hotspots.

Under the new restrictions bars and restaurants in Bolton will only be able to serve takeaway drinks and will have to close between 10pm and 5am.

He said local guidance against socialising with other households will be made legally binding.

Hancock added: ‘We’re also putting in place extra measures including visitor restrictions to restrict the spread of virus into care homes and hospitals in Bolton and I want to thank the leadership of Bolton Council who are doing an outstanding job in very difficult circumstances.

‘And I want to say this to everybody directly living in Bolton – I know how anxious this can be, and I know the impact that these measures will have.

‘We’re asking you to take a step back at a time when we all just want to get on with our lives and what we love and back to normal. But we need to take this crucial step to keep the virus at bay.

‘Because as we’ve seen elsewhere, if we act early and control the virus then we can save lives.

‘Now I know social distancing can be hard, and how it can be extra-tough for students who will be starting university – but please, stick with it and play your part in getting this virus under control.’

Manchester, Bolton, Oldham, Salford, Tameside, Rochdale, and Bury are all on high alert after infection rates passed 50 cases per 100,000 people.

It comes after regional lockdown measures forcing casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition centres, conference halls and indoor play areas were lifted across swathes of northern England on Friday – including most of Greater Manchester.

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