METRO Mayor Andy Burnham has raised hopes that lockdown restrictions in Bolton could soon be relaxed.

Mr Burnham said the ‘curve was flattening’, which could lead to restrictions imposed at the end of last month being lifted in parts of Greater Manchester.

People in Bolton and the rest of Greater Manchester were suddenly barred from meeting different households indoors or in the garden after lockdown restrictions were reinstated to tackle rising coronavirus infection rates.

Last week, businesses suffered a blow with the local restrictions meaning they could not open or expand services.

Now, Mr Burnham says he believes restrictions could be lifted as cases of coronavirus are flattening throughout Greater Manchester - apart from in Oldham.

Although, there has been no official line ­— nationally or locally ­— in an interview with The Mirror newspaper, Mr Burnham said:”Hopefully, we will begin to see some people getting released.

“If things stay as they are I think it is likely that we would see a change.”

He told the paper: “I think the blanket approach will start to be undone – certain boroughs where the cases are lower will start to be released.”

Mr Burnham said this could be done this week.

Earlier this month Mr Burnham said it would be “impossible” to lift the current coronavirus restrictions in a single borough as people do travel to other regions

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority, led by Mr Burnham, refused to comment on any possible relaxation of lockdown restrictions.

According to the latest figures released by Public Health England, the seven-day rate of new cases of Covid-19 shows a drop in Bolton, from 28.9 new cases per 100,000 people, to 26.1.

In Oldham the rate has fallen slightly from 94.5 to 91.5, with 217 new cases, but it continues to have the second highest rate in England.

In Bury the rate has gone from 26.7 to 30.4, and in Trafford there has been a slight rise from 21.9 to 27.8. In Rochdale it currently stands at 39.1, while over in Wigan the figure stands at just 9.1

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We must keep our vigilance and discipline in adhering to the measures. We want to do everything we can to avoid a resurgence of the virus – and that means taking swift and targeted action to stop the spread.

“The vast majority of people have followed the guidance on self-isolation and social distancing in order to keep themselves and their communities safe.”