Pubs and bars in Bolton are to offer a take-away service only for the foreseeable future to help tackle the spread of covid-19. They will also have to close between 10am and 5pm.

Matt Hancock

The measures were introduced by health secretary Matt Hancock (pictured) because of a spike of covid cases in the town.

He told the House of Commons: “The rise in cases in Bolton is partly due to socialising by people in their 20s and 30s. We know this from contact tracing. Through our contact tracing system, we’ve identified a number of pubs at which the virus has spread significantly.

“We will restrict all hospitality to take-away 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. We’ll introduce, urgently, further measures that put the current guidance that people cannot socialise outside their household into law.”

This morning, the government is due to ban gatherings of more than six people.

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