RESIDENTS are being urged to follow the new coronavirus rules as the infection rate in Bolton continues to rise.

At a press conference this afternoon, Andy Burnham revealed that the infection rate across Greater Manchester was rising, with 27.6 cases reported per 100,000 people in the borough, up from 23.5 the week before.

Bolton saw a similar increase, with 20.9 cases reported for every 100,000 people in the town, up from 17 the week before.

Although Bolton still has one of the lowest infection rates across Greater Manchester, officials have urged the borough's residents to follow the new rules put in place at the end of last week.

Dr Helen Lowey, director of public health at Bolton Council, said: “We are disappointed that figures are rising for the borough, but we have increased the amount of testing that is taking place, so we would expect the number of cases to rise.

“We continue to monitor the situation and to work with our residents and businesses. Coronavirus has not gone away and we are still in the middle of a global pandemic.

“We must continue to stick to the new rules introduced for Bolton and other parts of the north of England.

“Residents should not meet people they do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where they have formed a support bubble.

The Bolton News: A table showing the infection rate for each area of Greater Manchester and how that rate has changed each weekA table showing the infection rate for each area of Greater Manchester and how that rate has changed each week

“They shouldn’t socialise with people they do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. They shouldn’t visit friends or family in care homes.

“We must continue to wash our hands regularly and keep two metres apart from each other. If two metres is proving difficult we must wear a face covering if you can.

“And if you start to experience symptoms of covid-19 then you need to self-isolate immediately and arrange a test as soon as possible."

New laws to enforce the local restrictions across Greater Manchester came into effect at midnight on Wednesday.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gatherings) (North of England) Regulations 2020 were published on Tuesday, and were brought into force last night.

This legislation makes the rules announced last week – which ban people from different households meeting in a private home or garden following a spike in coronavirus cases – legally enforceable, five days after they came into effect.

Anyone found flouting the rules could be fined £100 up to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences.

Dr Lowey added: “The announcement last week will have been a cause for worry for many and it’s a reminder that we must continue to exercise a great deal of caution.

“We continue to monitor the local picture closely along with our partners in health and social care and Public Health England.”