A rule-breaking Bolton man who went on a pub crawl instead of self isolating after returning from holiday is partly to blame for the town’s “extreme spike” in coronavirus cases, the council leader has said.
Greenhalgh told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that high rate of Covid-19 cases had been linked back to pubs and a “cohort of people” who refused to follow the guidance.
“We had an extreme spike where we went from 12 cases per 100,000 and in less than three weeks we were up at 212 cases.” he said.
This led to Bolton having the highest infection rate in England and stricter restrictions were imposed to try to curb the soaring cases.
“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 Greenhalgh.
“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.
“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.”
The news of the rule-breaker has angered many people on social media – but others have questioned the rise being blamed on the actions of one person.
Bolton is under tougher coronavirus measures than most of England, with hospitality venues only allowed to operate as takeaways and ordered to shut by 10pm.
However, areas in the north west, West Yorkshire and the Midlands will also see tougher restrictions come into place from Tuesday to control the spread of coronavirus following a rise in cases.