Local lockdown rules have today been eased to allow a number of businesses to reopen across Greater Manchester – but stricter measures have been introduced in Bolton amid rising coronavirus cases.
The new rules see businesses including casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition halls, conference centres and indoor play areas to reopen lawfully in all of the boroughs of Greater Manchester – except Bolton which now has the highest coronavirus infection rate in the country, and where measures have today been tightened.
The relaxed restrictions also mean remaining close contact services like make-up application and eyebrow threading, can now restart. Socially distanced indoor performances will also be able to resume from Tuesday.
But the new rules don’t alter the local lockdown restrictions imposed by the Government in July in response to rising coronavirus cases in most of the boroughs across the region. In what is becoming an increasingly confusing picture, the measures now differ depending on where you live across Greater Manchester.
And the easing comes despite hefty increases in coronavirus cases across Greater Manchester in recent days. The latest figures place seven of the ten boroughs in the “red alert” category which means they have a rate over 50 cases per 100,000 – Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Manchester and Tameside.
Bolton now has the highest infection rate in the country – 121.7 per 100,000 as of Monday – and restrictions have been tightened here once again today with major new rules which state all hospitality for food and drink must be for takeaway ONLY with immediate effect and all venues must close between 10pm and 5am.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said nightlife would have to be curtailed in Bolton after the contact tracing system identified a number of cases in younger people linked to pubs in the region.
Oldham’s stricter lockdown, which has been in force for weeks after it registered a worrying rise in cases, continues although the borough’s coronavirus rate has now steadied but is still in the red alert category, with 61.2 cases per 100,000 in the latest figures published on Monday.
Here’s how the local restrictions stand right now, according to where you live.
But be prepared for yet more changes and updates, as the Government will take a look again at the local restrictions on Friday, September 11th.
Local lockdown restrictions – Bury, Manchester, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside, Trafford
Residents in these areas must not:
- meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law).
- visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.
- socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others. If you run such a business, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with Covid-19 Secure guidance.
The new rules, which come into force from September 9th, allow the following businesses to now reopen lawfully in the above areas- casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, exhibition halls, conference centres and indoor play areas. The relaxed restrictions also mean remaining close contact services like make-up application and eyebrow threading, can now restart.
Socially distanced indoor performances will also be able to resume from Tuesday.
Who can I meet?
In line with the national guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households.
But you cannot meet people you do not live with in a private garden.
You can still go to bars and restaurants, but only with members of your own household.
At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with, says official advice – unless they are in your support bubble.
Stricter local lockdown restrictions – Bolton, Oldham
Residents in Bolton and Oldham are now bound by stricter lockdown restrictions.
Residents in these areas must not:-
- host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
- meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected area, unless they’re in your support bubble
- socialise with people you do not live with anywhere – not at indoor or outdoor public venues. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas.
Residents here also must only use public transport if it is for an essential purpose – such as to travel to work or for medical appointments, to get essential supplies or to get to school.
The new easing of restrictions that comes into force on Tuesday, September 8th – allowing businesses like casinos, bowling alleys and conference centres to reopen – WILL apply in Oldham, but not in Bolton where they must remain closed.
New restrictions in Bolton (from September 8th)
Tighter coronavirus restrictions still have been introduced in Bolton today, including only allowing takeaways and curtailing nightlife, after a rise in cases.
All hospitality for food and drink (restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs) are now restricted to takeaway only, and the new measures will require all hospitality venues to close between 10pm and 5am each day.
A ban on mixing outside households in public outdoor settings will be enforceable by law.
Local lockdown removed – Stockport, Wigan
As of September 2nd, both Stockport and Wigan have been removed from the local lockdown restrictions – and so the national guidance now applies to these areas.
It remains the case that in these areas you should not:
- socialise indoors in groups of more than two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
- socialise outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is from exclusively from two households or support bubbles
- interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
- hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing and avoid close social interaction – even if they are organised by businesses and venues that are taking steps to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines
- stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household)
Who can I meet?
You are able to meet indoors in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household). This includes inviting people from one household into your home or visiting the home of someone else with members of your own household. You should continue to maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble when doing so.
Outdoors, you can meet in groups of up to six people who you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble.
You can also meet people in groups of more than six people if everyone is exclusively from two households (anyone in the same support bubble counts as one household).
You can find the full list of government rules and restrictions here.