CORONAVIRUS restrictions will be lifted in Bolton next week. 

The more extensive lockdown rules put into force across Greater Manchester at the end of July will be eased on September 2.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, Leader of Bolton Council, welcomed the government announcement. 

He said: “I am delighted that Government has listened to our case to have restrictions eased in Bolton. 

"Our data supports it, and when you have different emerging pictures developing within Greater Manchester, it is simply not viable to adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

“We now have geographical neighbours in Wigan, Chorley, and North Turton all with restrictions eased, and these are the first steps towards a degree of normality, which I genuinely believe the majority of residents want to see."

Residents were previously banned from visiting another household in their home or garden, and urged not to interact with members of another household inside pubs and restaurants.

Bolton will now be subject to the same restrictions as the rest of the country, along with Stockport, Trafford, Burnley, and Hyndburn. 

Over one million people will be able to mix with family and friends outside their household, in line with national social distancing rules, for the first time since restrictions were announced on 30 July.

Close contact services such as facial treatments can resume, and casinos, bowling alleys, and soft play centres can reopen. 

Cllr Greenhalgh warned that residents still need to take care, as the borough is still an area of enhanced support. 

He added: "It does not mean the virus has gone away. We still need to be careful. Keep social distance from people you don’t live with, wash your hands, wear a face mask when you have to, and get a test and self-isolate if you have symptoms.

“We need to stop the virus passing from one person to another and these simple steps will help keep us all safe.”

Bolton will benefit from additional testing, locally led contact tracing, and targeted community engagement to keep cases low. 

Andy Burnham and the ten leaders in Greater Manchester wrote to the government on Wednesday to request that Bolton and Stockport be removed from the tighter restrictions, and that additional businesses would be allowed to open for trade. 

A meeting of the Joint Biosecurity Centre approved the request after the borough saw a significant fall in the number of cases.

Mark Logan, MP for Bolton North East, welcomed the change.

He said: “I would like to thank Boltonians for their resilience and determination in the face of this deadly virus. 

"Clearly, social distancing and Covid secure measures have been adhered to and you have done your bit to help control the spread of the virus.

“I urge Boltonians to remain vigilant and continue to embrace face masks, follow social distancing regulations and wash hands.”