Matt Hancock addressed the House of Commons today after a "concerning rise" in coronavirus infections were reported across the country.

He warned about the long-term impacts that the virus can have on those infected, and urged younger people to follow the government advice.

Speaking about Bolton's sudden case rise, the Health Secretary said: "Unfortunately after improving for several weeks, we’ve seen a very significant rise in cases in Bolton.

“I must therefore tell that House that, working with the local council, we’re taking further local action. The rise in cases in Bolton is partly due to socialising by people in their 20s and 30s, we know this from contact tracing.

“And through our contacting tracing system we’ve identified a number of pubs at which the virus has spread significantly.

“We’re therefore taking the following action in Bolton starting immediately. We will restrict all hospitality to takeaways-only and we’ll introduce a late-night restriction of operating hours which will mean all venues will be required to close from 10pm to 5am."

The current guidance restricting residents from socialising with people outside their household will be put into law after the borough exceeded an infection rate of 120 cases per 100,000 people.

Additional restrictions on visitors to care homes and Royal Bolton Hospital will also be put into place to prevent the spread of the virus.

Addressing MPs, he said: "I want to thank the leadership of Bolton Council who are doing an outstanding job in very difficult circumstances.

“And I want to say this to everybody directly living in Bolton – I know how anxious this can be, and I know the impact that these measures will have.

“We’re asking you to take a step back at a time when we all just want to get on with our lives and what we love and back to normal. But we need to take this crucial step to keep the virus at bay.

“Because as we’ve seen elsewhere, if we act early and control the virus then we can save lives.”

Mr Hancock also urged people to practice social distancing – especially students preparing to start university.

He acknowledged that new students would find the rules "extra-tough", but asked them to "stick with it" to get infection rates under control.