An announcement of further assistance to help curb the increase in Covid-19 cases in Greater Manchester and Lancashire is expected later today, the Manchester Evening News has reported.
Following the success of additional support to deliver vaccinations from the military and an ongoing mask-mandate in schools in driving down case numbers in Bolton, one of the first areas of concern regarding the Delta Variant of the virus, measures are expected to be rolled out more widely in the region. Proposals also include guidance to avoid non-essential travel out of the region, which had also been put in place in Bolton.
Covid-19 case numbers have increased sharply since further loosening of restrictions took affect on 17th May, with Salford, Stockport and Manchester reporting the fastest increase in Covid-19 infection rates. While case numbers in Bolton remain some of the highest in the UK, the rate of new infections has trended downwards since the introduction of further support from the UK government.
A report shared with the MEN has suggested that guidance to avoid travel out of Blackburn and Bolton local authority areas would also be introduced for the whole of Greater Manchester and Lancashire. The areas will also be classified as ’emergency response areas’ that will receive enhanced support to slow infection rates. These are expected to be announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in the House of Commons later today and are set to include:
- military support for vaccination efforts and an increased supply targeted towards high-risk areas
- additional community testing
- reintroduction of rules mandating mask-wearing in secondary schools
- workplace spot-checks to ensure Covid-safe practices
- support for local communications
Greater Manchester’s local leaders are believed to have been in discussions with the government over the support package ahead of today’s announcement.