Bolton pubs given reopening date

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Reopening on cards: the Health Secretary suggested pubs could reopen soon in the Greater Manchester town (image: JThomas, Geograph)
Reopening on cards: the Health Secretary suggested pubs could reopen soon in the Greater Manchester town (image: JThomas, Geograph)

Related tags: Legislation, Manchester, Bolton, Health and safety, Government, Health

Pubs in Bolton will be allowed to reopen from Saturday 3 October, the Department of Health has confirmed.

Hospitality venues in the Greater Manchester town have been closed since 8 September after it reported the highest proportion of cases in the country.

Pubs were limited to takeaway services only and could not operate between the hours of 10pm and 5am.

However, speaking in the House of Commons today (Thursday 1 October), Matt Hancock said: “We are also aligning the measures in Bolton with the rest of Greater Manchester.

"And I’d like to pay tribute to David Greenhalgh, the leader of Bolton Council, for his constructive support. And the Bolton MPs for all they’ve done in support of Bolton," he added.

Following from this, the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed Bolton would be brought in line with measures in place throughout the rest of Greater Manchester on 00.01 Saturday 3 October. This means pubs can reopen, it said.

The Department said pubs will have to follow national requirements such as ensuring customers wear face coverings and a 10pm curfew.

Delighted reactions

In an interview with newspaper Manchester Evening News​, ​Bolton Council leader David Greenhalgh called the announcement a "victory" for common sense.

He told the paper: "I am delighted that the government has finally listened and realised the disparity and unfairness at the way our hospitality sector in Bolton has been treated.

"I have done my very best to put the pressure on and highlight the inequality and the damage to our economy, to jobs and to local businesses, as I know many restaurateurs and landlords have, and this is now a victory for fairness and common sense, and for all those businesses who lobbied and put the case.

“My first priority is to the residents and businesses of this town, and I will continue to fight for these businesses and for more financial help."

Hancock's words came after voices such as Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham called for a review on the shutdown and described the localised measure as an "injustice".

Some 178 pubs in the town will be affected by this positive news, according to the real estate adviser, Altus Group.

Operators had called for more financial support while their businesses were closed.​ They said a grant for every three weeks businesses were forcibly closed in local measures was not enough. 

The Government has said Bolton Council will distribute this funding, with businesses able to receive a grant of up to £1,500. Properties with rateable values of less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £1,000 while those with rateable values of £51,000 and over will receive a grant of £1,500.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "No business should be punished for doing the right thing, which is why today’s package will offer additional breathing space for businesses that have had to temporarily close to control the virus."

Related topics: Legislation

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