Local lockdown restrictions in Trafford will NOT be lifted following a “significant” change in the infection rate in the borough, the government has announced.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that Trafford and Bolton will not now be released from the Greater Manchester-wide local lockdown that was introduced on July 30th.
He added: “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.
Today’s decision represents another U-turn by the government and follows days of wrangling between local leaders and government.
The government had announced last week that Trafford, Bolton and Stockport would be lifted out of the restrictions affecting the rest of Greater Manchester that prevented households from mixing in a single house or garden.
But that sparked a row, as Trafford Council said they had actually requested a two-week extension to reflect the fact that infection rates in the borough were still high, and indeed have risen 89% in the last week to 35.81 cases per 100,000 population, as of August 28th.
Council leader Andrew Western had hit out at a “complete lack of regard for the views of local representatives as well as our local public health officials”.
In response to the news, Western tweeted today: “I don’t call this a win. We all want restrictions out as soon as possible & proper funding for hyper local action. I take no pleasure in seeing increased cases. We should never have been put in this mess in the first place; this has massively damaged public confidence in measures.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham had earlier urged people to continue to respect the restrictions and described measures as “completely illogical”.