SEVEN patients have died at the Royal Bolton Hospital after contracting coronavirus.

Two deaths on Monday, a death from Sunday, and two deaths from Friday and Saturday have all been linked to covid-19.

A total of 428 patients have now died at the borough hospital with covid-19.

The latest deaths came as 50 new cases of the virus were confirmed across the borough, pushing the total number of cases past 16,000.

This evening, a YouGov survey found that the majority of Britons believes the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions over Christmas should be scrapped.

By polling 3,856 adults earlier today, the organisation found 57 per cent thought the plans should be dropped, with the current rules staying in place during the festive period.

Just under a third said the easing should go ahead as planned, while 12 per cent were unsure.

Michael Gove is meeting with the devolved administration leaders this evening to discuss the rules after backlash from medical journals.

In a rare joint editorial the British Medical Journal and Health Service Journal called for the “rash” decision to relax social distancing measures over Christmas to be scrapped.

They said that the Government “is about to blunder into another major error that will cost many lives”.

The warning, authored by HSJ editor Alastair McLellan and BMJ editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee said: “When Government devised the current plans to allow household mixing over Christmas it had assumed the Covid-19 demand on the NHS would be decreasing.

“But it is not, it is rising, and the emergence of a new strain of the virus has introduced further potential jeopardy.

“Members of the public can and should mitigate the impact of the third wave by being as careful as possible over the next few months. But many will see the lifting of restrictions over Christmas as permission to drop their guard.

“The Government was too slow to introduce restrictions in the spring and again in the autumn.

“It should now reverse its rash decision to allow household mixing and instead extend the tiers over the five-day Christmas period in order to bring numbers down in the advance of a likely third wave.”