Measures in Bolton “will be aligned with the rest of Greater Manchester”, Matt Hancock confirmed in the House of Commons this morning.
The update means that pubs and restaurants in Bolton will now be permitted to reopen – but must abide to the 10pm curfew like the rest of the country.
Businesses had previously expressed their frustrations at the extra restrictions imposed on the town – which saw hospitality limited to takeaway-only after a spike in cases made Bolton the worst-affected region in England.
However, cases have fallen in recent weeks, with the Health Secretary saying that “actions we’ve collectively taken over past month are starting to make a positive impact.”
Mr. Hancock also pledged support for pubs and restaurants moving ahead – saying “we will do whatever we can to support them while acting fact to keep this virus under control.”
Despite the “small hope” of the falling R number, Mr. Hancock stated that the virus is still spreading in others areas of the country.
He confirmed that tighter rules will be imposed on Liverpool, Hartlepool, Warrington and Middlesborough – with a total ban on household mixing.
The 10pm curfew remains intact, with the government set to “closely monitor the impact of this policy” moving forwards.
“We have to take action to suppress the virus,” said Mr. Hancock.
“Letting it rip is not an alternative I’d ever want to take.”