The government is advising against all but essential travel to and from the eight areas of England most badly affected by the so-called Indian variant, it has been revealed.
Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Leicester and the London borough of Hounslow are all included on the list.
The latest guidance tells people in these places to meet outside rather than inside wherever possible and to keep 2 metres apart when social distancing. The advice adds that people should “avoid travelling in and out of affected areas unless it is essential” for their work or education.
Residents in these boroughs are also encouraged to take a free Covid-19 test twice a week and get the vaccine as soon as they are offered it. The information is thought to have been published quietly on the government’s website on Friday.
It comes as hospital admissions at the Royal Bolton Hospital increased to 43 on Monday, ten patients more than it had over the weekend, according to the Manchester Evening News. Bolton currently has the highest infection rate in England, with a weekly average of 450.7 cases per 100,000 people. This figure is up from 282.4 in the week up to 13 May.