Some Greater Manchester lockdown restrictions set to be eased

Some coronavirus lockdown restrictions in Greater Manchester are set to be eased next week - including in Tameside and Oldham.

From midnight on Tuesday (8 September), casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks, exhibition halls, conference centres and indoor play areas (including soft play areas) will be allowed to reopen in every borough except for Bolton, where there has been a spike in cases. 

Close contact services - such as facial beauty treatments and applying make-up - will also be allowed, as well as socially-distanced indoor performances, to bring the region in line with the rest of the country as of 15 August. 

But the restrictions on households mixing indoors WILL remain in place in Tameside and Oldham - as well as Salford, Rochdale, Trafford, Bury, Bolton and Manchester. 

In Oldham, residents will also continue to be advised to avoid mixing with anyone from another household anywhere in a bid to further reduce the borough's infection rate. 

'We're seeing improvements but we must stay alert' 

Announcing the easing of restrictions, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I'm very glad we’ve been able to make this change, working with local councils, because local lockdowns are working to control the virus. 

"We are seeing improvements in the rates of infection thanks to the huge efforts made by local communities and authorities working alongside our effective Test and Trace system.

"We must stay alert and I continue to encourage everyone to play their part by following local rules, self-isolating and requesting a free test as soon as they get any symptoms." 

'There's no evidence these businesses are causing Covid-19 spread'

The news has been welcomed by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, but he insists that it's important people continue to follow the other rules which remain in place. 

Reacting to the announcement, Mr Burnham commented: "We have been asking the Government to consider easing restrictions on business opening across Greater Manchester and welcome the Secretary of State’s positive announcement today. There is no evidence that these businesses are causing the spread of the virus and we know that these premises are making arrangements to operate in a safe way.

"It is understandable that this won’t apply in Bolton for the time being, but we will be working hard with Bolton Council and partners to move to a position where the restrictions on business opening can be eased as soon as possible.

"However, it is important people continue to follow the rules on no social gatherings in the home and the public health advice on washing hands, face coverings and social distancing."  

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