Bolton and Trafford will remain under existing coronavirus restrictions ‘following a significant change in the level of infection rates over the last few days’ the health minister has announced in the latest government U-turn.
Residents in the two areas will now be unable to meet people outside their bubbles either indoors in homes or in gardens.
It follows fresh data showing the weekly incidence rate in Bolton is now at 66.6 per 100,000 on Sunday, compared to 18.9 per 100,000 between August 17 and August 23, it said.
The latest data for Trafford shows a weekly incidence of 36.8 per 100,000 on Sunday, compared to 17.8 per 100,000 between August 17 and August 23.
Matt Hancock said: ‘This decision has been made in collaboration with local leaders after reviewing the latest data. We continually monitor outbreaks across the country, and have seen infection rates increase more than three times in Bolton in under a week, and double in Trafford since the last review.
‘We have always been clear we will take swift and decisive action where needed to contain outbreaks. We can bring the rates down if we continue to work together and I urge everyone to continue to play their part by following the rules – get tested if you have symptoms, self-isolate and practice social distancing.’
The lifting of restrictions in Burnley, Hyndburn, Stockport and parts of Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford will continue to go ahead.