Bolton council bosses brand takeaway-only rule 'unfair'

26 September 2020, 13:36

People walk on the street in Bolton, Greater Manchester
People walk on the street in Bolton, Greater Manchester. Picture: PA

Council bosses in Bolton say continuing to force hospitality venues in the borough to offer a takeaway service only is "unfair".

The Government decided to maintain the added Covid-19 restriction in Bolton, which currently has the highest seven-day infection rate in the country at 242 cases per 100,000 people.

Tory council leader David Greenhalgh says the above restriction was imposed on restaurants, cafes and pubs when the infection rate was just over 100 cases per 100,000.

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He pointed out that many boroughs in the Greater Manchester area are now above that rate but are still being allowed to operate with table service - some just a few hundred yards away on the other side of boundaries.

Mr Greenhalgh said: "I feel incredibly frustrated and angry at this decision, and I know business owners who have had their doors close will feel the same.

"I have lobbied ministers and civil servants all week, spoken out in national and local media, and I will continue to do so. This is about parity.

"Bolton has its hospitality shut down with rates at just over 100 cases per 100,000. Many boroughs have now surpassed those rates and yet their hospitality remains open.

"Our hospitality sector remains penalised and suffering job losses and the threat of closure, and I will continue to illustrate this unfairness when businesses can see other premises trading normally as little as a few hundred yards away across a borough boundary.

"This is unfair and the fight goes on for this sector to be allowed to reopen in a safe manner, as many did before with great innovation.

"Early next week, we will be publishing the help available to hospitality businesses and how they apply and we will assure that we get this financial help out to you as soon as we can, and I will continue to argue for more help to support you through this horrendous time."