TOWN hall chiefs have asked for clearer guidance from the government on whether they can relax tier three lockdown restrictions.

Bolton, along with the rest of Greater Manchester is currently under the strictest tier three restrictions, with infection rates on the up.

In the seven days leading up to October 20 Bolton recorded 1,452 positive coronavirus cases, equalling an infection rate of 505 cases per 100,00 people.

The current national average is around 175 per 100,000 people.

Yesterday morning, the health secretary Matt Hancock said areas would have to prove that their infection rate was “coming down”, especially among those aged 60 or over, before they could be removed from the strictest measures.

Mr Hancock said: “The first thing that’s most important is that the case rate has to be coming down, and in particular we look at the number of cases amongst the over-60s because that’s the number that is likely to translate into hospital admissions and sadly into deaths.”

Andy Morgan, Bolton Council’s lead for adult social care, said the government needs to give more clarity when it comes to restrictions as the virus begins to affect more older people who are more at risk.

He said: “The infection rate picked up quite a bit within younger people but we’re now seeing more among older people.

“Until we see the rates going down among older people then we can’t consider coming out of tier three.

“But the messaging from government needs to be clearer.

“Give us a target, give us something to aim for, what is the end game for this. Just saying it needs to come down doesn’t mean a lot.

“Tell people if we get it below 300 we can go to the pubs again ­— give people a positive target to aim for.

“People are just getting fed up at the minute.

“We were hoping the three-tier system would make things clearer but it hasn’t.

“The virus may continue to spread to more vulnerable people in society, thankfully care homes are doing really well so we won’t have a repeat of the spread there but there are still many vulnerable people in society.

“We can do it if we all pull together but we need clearer guidance.”