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A tourist who went on a pub crawl instead of self-isolating after returning to Bolton was partly responsible for the area’s spike in coronavirus cases, the council leader has said.
People in the town were asked to avoid mixing with other households and to only use public transport for essential purposes.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Bolton Council leader David Greenhalgh said the area’s high rate had been linked back to pubs in the town and a “cohort of people” who refused to follow guidance.
“We had somebody who did not adhere to quarantine, did not stay the 14 days, literally went on a pub crawl with a number of mates,” said the Conservative councillor.
“From that incident which took place over a weekend – (they) visited a number of premises – led to a large number of individual transmissions from that one person which you can imagine then is like holding back the tide because he then became symptomatic two days after they had all gone on this pub crawl.
“He was positive-tested the following day. That is four or five days where all the people he was in contact with have been going about their normal day-to-day business.”
In Bolton, 546 new cases were recorded in the seven days to September 15 – the equivalent of 189.9 per 100,000 people.
This is the highest rate in England and it is down slightly from 198.2 in the seven days to September 8.
Earlier this month a 23-year-old man from Bolton was fined £1,000 for failing to self-isolate after returning from a holiday in Ibiza and hosting a house party.
It is not known whether the individual mentioned by Mr Greenhalgh was fined for breaching regulations.
Leaders in Bolton had been arguing for restrictions, placed on all of Greater Manchester, to be lifted at the end of August before the area saw a spike which led to it having the highest rates of the virus in the country.
It is now subject to tougher measures than the rest of England, with hospitality venues only allowed to operate as takeaways and ordered to shut by 10pm.
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World news – Tourist who broke quarantine ‘partly responsible for Bolton surge’