BOLTON West’s MP has called on the Government to take a firmer stance on Covid restrictions, after voting against new mask regulations.

MP Chris Green questioned whether the Government had ‘confidence in the vaccine programme’ or not.

He suggested that it should be made clear whether the booster jab programme will be effective, or if a full lockdown is needed rather than a ‘half way’ approach.

This comes after it became mandatory on Tuesday to wear masks in shops and public transport.

Mr Green said: “The Government either has confidence in the vaccine programme, in which case the first two, and third vaccines are respondent to the variant of concern, therefore no particular new action is required.

“Or that the Government is not confident, meaning they should carry out a full national lockdown.

“The half-way approach has not been a logical decision.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the reason for not proceeding with the full Plan B is that the Government wants to take an approach that is “proportionate and balanced and suits the needs of the present risk”.

During the vote on whether masks should be made mandatory, 434 MPs voted in favour of it, with 23 voting against it. Mr Green was among those voting against.

Face coverings are again compulsory in England in settings such as banks, post offices, hairdressers, and public transport, while all travellers returning to the UK must take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

The rules also apply to Metrolink stops, bus and railway stations and other transport interchanges.

Those using taxis and private hire vehicles must also wear a face covering.

Danny Vaughan, Head of Metrolink at TfGM, said: “Wearing a face covering helps to keep the most vulnerable safe while they are travelling and helps to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, so please wear one unless you are exempt.

“We’ve already seen a significant increase in the number of people wearing face coverings on Metrolink services on day one of the new regulations, so I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for that.”

Under the new regulations anyone not wearing a mask could face a £200 fine.