Bolton's Labour Leader reacted to Boris Johnson's lockdown roadmap announcement welcoming the news but urging for support packages to be extended.

Nick Peel praised the decision to ease restrictions with caution, but warned that there is still a long way to go.

Cllr Peel said: “I’m pleased that the Prime Minister has chosen to ignore the arguments of many his own Tory backbenchers, to end lockdown too quickly, and instead has taken a more cautious approach.

"This is precisely the right thing to do, and I am sure even he would acknowledge, should have been the approach he took in the last two premature ending of lockdowns.

"A step by step approach, subject to data based reviews, that could extend the timetable as laid out, is at last, the right way to do this.

"Today's announcement has only been made possible by the amazing work carried out by our brilliant NHS, in rolling out the vaccine so effectively.

"We still have a long way to go, with many restrictions, particularly those that affect local businesses, still being in place for months to come.

"So, it is really important that the Government now extend the various business support packages that are due to come to an end, especially to those who are self-employed who have received next to no support.

"In addition, in order to keep on top of the infection rate, support for those who are told to self-isolate must be enhanced, the universal credit uplift needs to be kept in place, and the ban on evictions needs to remain.

"We are all hoping that this is the last time we come out of lockdown, and that the Government does not get complacent, as it has in the past, by moving too fast.”