Guidance

Bolton: local restrictions

Find out what you can and cannot do if you live, work or travel in Bolton.

This guidance was withdrawn on

An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in Bolton. The government and the relevant local authorities are working together to control the spread of the virus.

Restrictions and guidance apply to the specified areas below.

Affected local areas

  • Bolton (Metropolitan Borough Council)

From midnight 3 October (Saturday morning), Bolton will be brought into line with restrictions for the rest of Greater Manchester. Until that time, the current measures outlined in this guidance still apply.

Please see the guidance covering Greater Manchester, which sets out what restrictions will apply in Bolton from 3 October.

Local restrictions

Business and venue closures

The following businesses and venues must remain closed nationally, including in the affected local areas:

  • nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  • sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars

In addition to this, the following businesses and venues must not open in Bolton:

  • casinos
  • indoor skating rinks
  • bowling alleys
  • indoor play areas, including soft play areas
  • exhibition halls and conference centres

We also advise that the following activity should not reopen or restart in Bolton:

  • indoor performances

Business restrictions

Hospitality venues must only provide take away food and drinks or delivery services to customers. Hospitality venues subject to these restrictions include:

  • restaurants, including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs
  • cafes including workplace canteens (not including cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons, establishments intended for the use of naval, military or air force purposes and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • bars including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
  • pubs

Early business and venue closures

Across England, the following businesses and venues must close from 10pm to 5am each day except to deliver food or drinks or provide drive-through services. Take-away is not permitted during this time period.

  • hospitality venues listed above (now only operating as takeaways)
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls
  • museums and galleries
  • betting shops
  • nail bars and salons, hair salons and barbers
  • tanning booths and salons
  • spas and beauty salons
  • massage parlours
  • tattoo and piercing parlours
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • playgrounds
  • social clubs
  • aquariums and zoos, including safari parks
  • indoor attractions at visitor attractions

Cinemas, theatres or concert halls can stay open beyond 10pm to conclude a performance that has begun before 10pm, but they must close once the performance has concluded.

Businesses can be fined by local authorities or the police if they fail to fulfil the obligations placed on them in law, such as failing to comply with the requirement to operate as a take-away only, or failing to comply with the requirement to close between the hours of 22:00 and 5:00. Fines will be issued:

  • £1,000 for the first offence
  • £2,000 for the second offence,
  • £3,000 for the third offence
  • and then £10,000 for the fourth and all subsequent offences.

Social contact restrictions

If you live in Bolton, you must not:

  • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support or childcare bubble
  • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside the affected local areas, unless they’re in your support or childcare bubble

Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support or childcare bubble.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (i.e. unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis - always the same two households.

The police will be able to take action against those who break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices, starting at £200 for those who participate in illegal gatherings.

People aged over 18 or over can be fined:

  • £200 for the first offence, lowered to £100 if paid within 14 days.
  • £400 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence, up to a maximum of £6,400.

The government has also introduced fines for those who hold illegal gatherings of over 30 people. Holding or being involved in the holding of an illegal gathering of more than 30 people is an offence, and police may issue fines of £10,000 to those who break the law.

People can still come inside your home or garden for specific purposes set out in law:

  • where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble
  • to attend a birth at the mother’s request
  • to visit a person who is dying
  • to fulfil a legal obligation
  • for work purposes, (see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services
  • for the purposes of education or training
  • for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider and informal childcare as part of a childcare bubble
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • to facilitate a house move
  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents

In line with national restrictions, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6 (in settings other than private dwellings, where the limit is a single household in Bolton). Further detail can be found in the guidance for meeting others safely, including associated exemptions.

If you live in the affected local area, we also advise that you should not:

  • meet with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of Bolton. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. This also includes outdoor areas of these venues (such as a beer garden) and areas directly outside them, such as the pavement or road. This applies to visiting venues inside and outside of the affected areas.
  • visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances

Travel restrictions

You should follow all relevant transport guidance when making a journey into, within or out of Bolton.

You must wear a face covering on public transport, taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England (as well as other indoor premises).

You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined. Some people do not have to wear a face covering including for age, health, or disability reasons.

We advise that you should only travel for essential reasons when travelling into, within and out of Bolton. We encourage you to walk or cycle where possible and to plan your journey in advance, avoiding busy times and routes if possible. Examples of essential travel include:

  • to get to and from work
  • to get essential food or medical supplies including click and collect services
  • to support someone who is vulnerable, if no-one else can do so
  • to travel to and from the homes of others in your support bubble
  • to attend an early years setting, school or college, or to accompany a child who is attending an early years setting, school, college or university where necessary
  • to fulfil legal obligations
  • to seek medical care, or avoid illness, injury or harm

You should try not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble. If you need to, try to:

  • share the car with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering
  • See more guidance on car sharing and travelling with people outside your household group.

If you live in Bolton you can travel outside the area. However, you must not meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of Bolton, unless they’re in your support bubble.

You can still go on holiday outside of Bolton, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with).

There is separate guidance on what to do if you have booked holiday accommodation in an area with local restrictions.

Shielding

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable we are not currently advising that you need to shield, however it is important that you continue to take precautions. Find out more from the general guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people.

Team sport and physical activity

You can continue to take part in organised sporting or licensed physical activity in groups of more than 6 outdoors and up to 6 people indoors (for over 18s). There is an exemption for indoor sports if it is organised for the purposes of someone who has a disability taking part and for children’s activities.

These activities either need to be organised by a national governing body, club, registered instructor/coach, business or charity, and/or involve someone who has received an official licence to use equipment relevant to the activity. In all cases, the organiser must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with COVID-19 secure guidance.

You should only be playing team sports where the relevant governing body has published guidance on how to do so safely. See a list of team sports governing bodies which have developed guidance. For all other sports, guidance is available from your governing body and details on how to safely undertake this activity within an organised environment.

Organised dance and exercise classes can take place in groups of more than 6, where a risk assessment has been carried out, but you must not mix with more than five other participants. The relevant indoor sport facilities guidance or outdoor guidance must be followed for these activities. Organised sport and physical activity events are allowed provided they follow guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation in England.

Weddings and funerals

In line with the rules across the whole of England, you must not meet in a group of more than 6 people in any location. Nationally, weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, funerals (including ceremonies at crematoria) are exempt.

However, in Bolton, only a maximum of 6 people should attend these events. This should be limited to close family of the people getting married or the person who has died, or people who live(d) or formed a support bubble with them. A close friend can attend a funeral only if there are no household members or immediate families.

Anyone working at these ceremonies or events are not included as part of the 6 person limit.

These events should comply with the COVID-19 secure guidance and venue capacity. See detailed guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships.

People living outside of Bolton can travel to Bolton to attend a wedding, civil partnership ceremony or funeral, but must not meet with another household in a private home or garden.

Religious ceremonies and places of worship

You may attend a mosque, church, synagogue, temple or other place or worship, but you should socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings).

Going to work

People living inside and outside of Bolton can continue to travel in and out for work. However, to help contain the virus, office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work. The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.

The local authority in Bolton and national regulators (including HSE) will be undertaking stronger enforcement to ensure workplaces are COVID-19 Secure.

Financial support – furlough and self-isolation

Please see guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and New Style Employment and Support Allowance.

Childcare

You can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before or after school clubs or other out-of-school settings for children. You can also continue to employ nannies – see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.

The following people can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens:

  • Registered childcare providers, including nannies
  • People who are in your support bubble
  • People who are in your childcare support bubble

Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare.

A support bubble is where a lone adult household with one adult joins with another household (on an exclusive basis).

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (i.e. unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis - always the same two households.

We recommend that you form a support bubble or childcare support bubble with a household that lives locally wherever possible. This will help to prevent the virus spreading from an area where there might be a higher rate of infection.

Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households.

Schools and colleges (face coverings)

In education settings where pupils and students in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and pupils/students when moving around in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

It is not necessary to wear face coverings in the classroom, where protective measures already mean the risks are lower and they may inhibit teaching and learning.

Universities and higher education

You can move home and travel in order to attend or work at a university or higher educational establishment. This applies to the whole country, including the areas affected in this guidance.

You should follow all relevant university and higher educational guidance if you attend, work at or manage higher education establishments, including universities and associated accommodation. The guidance also covers what to do in the event of an outbreak at these establishments. It is important to understand how to minimise risk during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and ensure that the experience of attending or working at these establishments is enjoyable and as safe as possible.

We recognise the pressure of attending or working at these establishments during these uncertain times. There are support services within your university or higher education establishment to help you should you need advice or support. In addition, we have worked with the Office for Students to provide the Student Space platform, which seeks to bridge gaps in mental support for students arising from this unprecedented situation. It provides a range of information, access to dedicated support services, details of the support available at each university, and tools to help students manage the challenges of their student life.

Students are expected to follow the latest guidance on social contact and meeting with others safely in their local area whilst attending university, and should not leave their university accommodation to go home in the event of an outbreak or restrictions being applied in a local area.

As of Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6. Further detail can be found in the guidance for meeting others safely, including certain exemptions that may apply.

If you live in the affected local areas, you must not meet or host people you do not live with in private homes or gardens unless they are in your support bubble, please see below to understand how this may affect you.

You are living or plan to live in student halls or official accommodation in one of the affected areas:

  • you must not meet people in a group of more than 6.
  • you must not meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you should not host people you do not live with in your student halls, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you should not meet people you do not live with in their student halls, whether inside or outside of the affected areas unless they’re in your support bubble

To note - if you plan to live in an affected area, restrictions on hosting people you do not live with only apply to you once you move to said area. However, even before you do so, you should not meet with people you don’t live with in an affected area.

You are living or plan to live in private rented accommodation in one of the affected areas:

  • you must not meet people in a group of more than 6.
  • you must not host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you must not meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you should not meet people you do not live with in their student halls, whether inside or outside of the affected areas unless they’re in your support bubble

You relocate or currently live in an area outside of one of the affected areas:

  • you must not meet people in a group of more than 6.
  • you must not host people you do not live with in your home or garden, if they live in one of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you should not host people you do not live with in your student halls, if they live in an affected area, unless they’re in your support bubble

You commute into an affected area to attend or work at a university:

  • you must not meet people in a group of more than 6.
  • you must not meet people you do not live with in their home or garden inside one of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you must not host people you do not live with in your home or garden, if they live in one of the affected areas, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • you should not meet people you do not live with in their student halls, whether inside or outside of one of the affected areas unless they’re in your support bubble

Please see the social contact restriction section of this guidance to understand the specific purposes people can enter your home or garden and broader guidance on exemptions to the rule of six outside of people’s homes and gardens.

This means certain activities, like organised outdoor sports can still proceed, as can specified support groups (up to 15) and other specified activities.

Moving home

People can move home. Estate and letting agents, and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings. Please see the full guidance on moving home safely including advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering.

Published 9 September 2020
Last updated 2 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Changes to reflect the restrictions in Bolton will align with those in Greater Manchester from 3 October and edits for consistency across the local restriction guidance pages

  2. Added guidance for university students moving to or relocating within an area of local restrictions, updated guidance on going to work and on childcare bubbles. Guidance updated to reflect regulations affecting businesses selling food and drink

  3. Updated in line with guidance in other parts of England, including restrictions on team sport and activities; weddings, funerals and other life-cycle events; and education settings.

  4. Updated to reflect that the 'rule of 6' introduced in England on Monday 14 September now applies to Bolton.

  5. Updated to clarify that you should not socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue.

  6. Added clarification that the 'rule of 6' being introduced in England on Monday 14 September does not apply to Bolton because of its higher infection rate. You must not meet with anyone outside of your household or social bubble in the borough.

  7. Updated with information on the restrictions that will come into force on 14 September.

  8. First published.