Andy Burnham Greater Manchester mayor has advised residents in Bolton and Trafford to disregard UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s easing of lockdown rules in the area and continue to follow the past regulations.
This comes as several areas of the northwest of England where residents were told in late July to avoid visiting other households, even in a garden, are having those restrictions lifted from now on.
Local leaders in Bolton and Trafford, have expressed interest to retain the measures amid fears of a spike in coronavirus infections in recent days. Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham told BBC Radio 4’s Today show why he disagrees with the government’s latest move.
Speaking about what the people in Bolton and Trafford should do, Mr Burnham said, “To continue to follow the guidance, which is not to have social gatherings in the home. We find ourselves in a completely unsustainable position this morning, that’s the politest way I can put it.
“Overnight we’ve had restrictions released from two boroughs where we’ve got a rising number of cases. In one case, in the red zone. Neighbouring boroughs are still under restrictions with much lower numbers of cases.”
“So these restrictions were always hard to explain to the public but they’re completely illogical now. Now we need to agree on an exit strategy with the Government from these restrictions. We need to move toward the interventions which we have found to be much more effective. Particularly door-to-door intervention to do testing, tracing and messaging.”
However, Mr Burham mentioned Oldham, Rochdale and Stockport as examples where the proposed method was by far the most effective way to contain the spread of the virus.
When the Manchester Mayor was asked if residents of both areas should go ahead and ignore the eased restrictions, he said, “The leaders of Bolton and Trafford council wrote to the Government saying they felt that they wanted to stay under the restrictions.
“As an interim measure, if you like, before we can move to a new phase of this. They, as far as I understand, didn’t receive a response and certainly the leader of Trafford Council said last week that they didn’t want to come out of restrictions.
“The Government didn’t go with what he was saying. He continues to say that the logic here is to minimise social gathering in the home, and we would say that to people.”