The government advises against all but essential travel in and out of areas affected by the Indian variant of Covid-19.
Official guidelines state that travel to and from areas affected by the coronavirus strain across the UK should be avoided unless strictly necessary, with exceptions such as work – when people cannot work from home – and education.
It covers several areas of the UK where the Indian variant is believed to be the fastest to spread – Bedford, Blackburn and Darwen, Bolton, Burnley, Kirklees, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside.
The information is believed to have been posted on Gov.uk last week (May 21), but it does not appear to have been accompanied by an official announcement.
It is believed that local executives and local public health directors in Bolton were unaware of the guidelines. the Manchester Evening News reported.
The council stated: “The new variant of Covid-19 is spreading more easily from person to person. To stop the spread, you should be extra careful when meeting someone outside your household or a support bubble.
“In the areas listed, try to meet outside rather than inside whenever possible. Stay two meters away from people you don’t live with (unless you’ve formed a support bubble with them). This includes friends and Friends and family you do not live with should avoid entering and leaving affected areas unless it is important, such as for work (when you cannot work from home) or for schooling .
You should also get tested twice a week for free and isolate if you are positive. Continue working from home if you can. Get vaccinated when offered and encourage others to do the same to do.”
“You should get tested for Covid-19. This includes getting a PCR test if you have symptoms of Covid-19; taking surge tests in your area; regular rapid tests if you don’t have symptoms of coronavirus to have.
“You should self-isolate immediately if you have symptoms or a positive test result for Covid-19. Financial support is available if you are unemployed due to coronavirus.”
Currently, Bolton has a rolling 7-day infection rate of 450.7 cases per 100,000 population – a 60 percent weekly increase and the highest in the country.
The town of Lever Edge has the highest infection rate in the UK at 1,758.8 cases per 100,000 population.
Despite the spike in coronavirus cases in Bolton in recent weeks, it is believed that infection rates have not had a significant impact on hospital admissions until the past few days.
At the height of the pandemic last year, the Royal Bolton opened six wards to coronavirus patients, of whom up to 170 were treated.
Doctors had been able to reduce that number to just one ward and were starting to resume non-urgent procedures when the last surge in cases occurred.