Boris Johnson was toasted to "chaos after chaos" in the coronavirus crisis today after the government made another embarrassing U-turn on lockdowns.
Bolton and Trafford were part of a number of areas in the Northwest as restrictions have now been relaxed.
But the move was canceled in the 11th hour after an angry backlash from local politicians, including Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who said infection rates were still way too high.
When the dramatic volte face emerged, Mr. Johnson was lashed down by Keir Starmer at PMQs for "making up for it".
"It's chaos after chaos … U-turn after U-turn, it's a fundamental question of competence," the Labor leader raged.
"God knows what's going on, there's no handle."
But a stubborn prime minister responded by branding Sir Keir as "Captain Hindsight".
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the latest sudden change in the heart this afternoon, saying, “After a significant change in infection rates in the past few days, it has been decided that Bolton and Trafford will now remain under existing restrictions.
& # 39; This decision was made in collaboration with local executives after reviewing the latest data. We are continuously monitoring outbreaks across the country and have found that infection rates in Bolton have increased more than three times in less than a week and have doubled in Trafford since the last review. & # 39;
Bans are being lifted in some parts of the Northwest – but now in Bolton and Trafford
Boris Johnson (left) branded Keir Starmer (right) as "Captain Hindsight" after the Labor leader accused him of overseeing "Chaos After Chaos" at PMQ's today
Andy Burnham blew up the "totally illogical" lifting of local lockdowns in North West England today
A graphic shows the different infection rates in the individual municipalities of Greater Manchester
This means that hundreds of thousands of people in both areas will still not be allowed to be mixed with people from other households while businesses that should be opened such as B. Casinos, must remain closed.
Some areas in the northwest will still be closed. They are Stockport, Burnley, Hyndburn and parts of Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.
Earlier, Greater Manchester Mayor Burnham told BBC Radio 4's Today program that the people of Bolton and Trafford should "continue to follow instructions" to avoid having social gatherings in their home.
"We are in a totally untenable position this morning – I can put it politely," he said.
“Overnight restrictions were imposed in two counties and cases are growing – one in the red zone.
“And neighboring counties are still restricted, but with a much lower number of cases.
"These restrictions were always difficult to explain to the public, but they are now completely illogical."
His comments are in line with those of Trafford Council Chairman Andrew Western, who blew up the "chaotic" way local lockdowns were being handled and accused ministers of "purely political calculation" in order to to lift the restrictions even if cases arose.
It came after his Bolton counterpart Tory Councilor David Greenhalgh insisted that an "unpredictable" surge in infections meant it was necessary to maintain the lockdown.
While the ban on mixing households has been lifted in many areas, they remain in other areas, including Oldham, Pendle and Leicester.
Companies that opened elsewhere on August 15, such as: B. Casinos, bowling alleys and concert halls may also be reopened.
Meanwhile, more and more cases have been locked in Glasgow, East Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire.
BOLTON'S INFECTION RATE: 18.2 per 100,000 people for the week ended July 31; 31.2 per 100,000 people for the week ending August 7; 25.6 per 100,000 people for the week ending August 14; 18.4 per 100,000 people for the week ending August 21; 44.9 per 100,000 people for the week ending August 28; 56.4 per 100,000 people on September 1
Restrictions have been in place in much of the northwest since July 15th.
The request to maintain the restrictions in Bolton came after an emergency meeting between officials when the number of new Covid-19 cases in Bolton over the weekend rose from 44.9 per 100,000 on Friday to 56.4 per 100,000 yesterday.
Where are local bans being lifted in the northwest?
- Bradford (some areas)
- Calderdale and Kirklees
Meanwhile, Trafford had 170 new cases as of Aug 29, up from 53 the week before. With currently 59 new cases, it is one of the highest in England at 59 per 100,000 inhabitants.
The analysis found that new cases in Bolton were scattered across the borough rather than confined to a single area, township or job, the council said.
Inter-household infections appear to be the main driver of the increase, with people aged 18 to 49 making up the vast majority of new cases, he added.
The government was also urged by other Tories to maintain restrictions at Trafford and Bolton before deciding to do so.
Conservative Chairman of Bolton Council, Councilor David Greenhalgh, said, “It is with a heavy heart that the cabinet and officers' team have made this decision and it will be incredibly disappointing for local residents and entrepreneurs alike.
& # 39; We have urged the government to lift Bolton out of the additional restrictions at a time when infection rates were low.
& # 39; That was the right decision back then.
& # 39; However, the number of coronavirus cases in Bolton has increased suddenly and unpredictably.
"We have always been guided by the data, which means we have no choice but to act quickly to keep everyone safe."
Central Bolton was largely deserted yesterday morning
Where are the new Scottish locks?
From this evening at midnight, lockdown measures will be introduced in the following areas:
Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire.
Labor Council Chairman Andrew Western previously wrote to Matt Hancock "urging clarity" on the government's position on Trafford.
In his letter, Mr Western said, "Unfortunately I have to point out to you that Trafford has now returned to the government's Amber Zone in relation to cases of 100,000 and now has a significantly higher case rate than some other areas in the Greater Manchester area. The restrictions will not be applied tomorrow canceled.
In short, this decision has created chaos and confusion that not only has the potential to affect the health of my residents, but also the likelihood of compliance in neighboring counties, which now have a lower infection rate than Trafford.
& # 39; The proposed regulations now make little sense.
"The system has been undermined by government decision-making processes."
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