BOLTON Council will not hesitate to shut down pubs and other licensed premises that disregard coronavirus guidance, leaders have said.

Firms have been told to take customer details and ensure clients stick to social distancing. Different households cannot meet up in Greater Manchester pubs and restaurants under the current rules.

But some establishments have been reported for not following the advice.

Cabinet member for regulatory services at Bolton Council, Cllr Hilary Fairclough, said: “The majority of businesses have gone above and beyond to keep their customers safe, and I thank them for that.

“This council wants our businesses to succeed, and we are doing everything we can to help. We have given them guidance, both verbally and in written form, provided posters, and visited premises on several occasions if necessary.

“But we cannot and will not tolerate blatant disregard of the regulations and for those who continue to choose not to conform and putting our residents health at risk we will close them down. I think this is what the public would want us to do, they have a right to feel confident we are talking steps to keep our residents safe.”

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has vowed to get tough on premises not taking the advice seriously.

In a remote press conference on Thursday, Mr Burnham said: “Action has been taken against pubs and bars not following the guidance.

“There are powers that the government have given to us to close establishments if they are creating a serious risk to public safety given the way that the place is operating.

"That is something that can be done under the legislation that can be given.

“Of course, we don’t want to just go round, just closing places like that.

"What we would want to do is do the mystery shopping but also perhaps issue a final warning. If you don’t, then we will.

"But we will do it because we can’t have widespread non-compliance of the kind that we’re seeing at the moment.

“This is a call on the hospitality industry.

"My office has met some of the major pub companies and brewers today (Thursday). We had a very good meeting.

"We recognised that a large number of establishments are doing the right thing, but they are being let down by a substantial minority.

"What we need to see is the industry recognise the seriousness of the situation in parts of Greater Manchester and we need to see commensurate action now and the industry fulfilling its part of the bargain.

"And if we don’t see that then we will use the powers and it won’t just be a case of mystery shoppers and final warnings.

"I’m fully prepared to ask Greater Manchester Police to work with local councils to actually close establishments if they are persistently not following the guidance having been warned.”