Bolton has highest cases of the Indian variant, but a Council leader has said a local lockdown will not happen as they don’t work.
Bolton has the highest level of people infected with the Indian variant which now stands at more than 450 cases per 100,000 population.
This afternoon the Shadow Health Secretary told MPs in the Commons that Bolton, North Tyneside and Leicester have had longer lockdowns than the rest of England.
Bolton Council leader David Greenhalgh said that it has been a “very challenging time” for Bolton and they will do “everything they can to address the rates”.
Greenlagh added, “Clearly over the last 24-hours there has been a degree of confusion.”
The Council leader said he spoke with the NHS, Public Health England (PHE) and the government to clarify things.
He said that there will be “no added restrictions coming to Bolton. There is no local lockdown.
“The position in Bolton remains the same as it did at the time of the prime minister’s announcement 10 days ago.”
Greenlagh does not believe localised lockdown have any effect and have vowed to “continue to fight against them.”
Downing Street said on Tuesday afternoon that their measures that people should not travel in or out of areas which have high Indian variant cases is just “guidance” which is not law.
A Downing Street spokesman told journalists that the government are looking to “move away from top down edicts from the government.”
The government wants to move towards a scenario where “the public are able to exercise their good judgement.”
The government have said that if people in high risk areas such as Bolton want to travel or if people want to head in to hotspot areas which have the Indian variant for work or have a holiday, then they can do so.
People who live in the Indian variant hotspots who are wanting to travel abroad, as being in an India variant hotspot does not preclude going to a green list country, the spokesman said.
Despite the spokesman’s statement, Sir Richard Lees, health and care lead for Greater Manchester gave a dire warning that Bolton General Hospital is dealing with extremely high levels of infections which they never saw during the first and second wave last year.
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said that Monday was one of its busiest ever days in A&E, and warned hospitalisations with the new variant are rising.
The trust are dealing with the UK’s largest Indian variant surge and health chiefs are strongly urging everyone to take all measures to protect themselves.
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