People in Bolton will not be allowed to socialise with those from other households after coronavirus restrictions were tightened in the town.

Restaurants will also be restricted to takeaway only and venues will have to close from 10 pm to 5 am under the measures.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the tighter restrictions in a statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday.

He said: “Unfortunately after improving for several weeks, we’ve seen a very significant rise in cases in Bolton. Bolton is up to 120 cases per 100,000 of population, the highest case rate in the country and I’m publishing the data behind the decisions that we’ve taken.”

The UK government considers imposing quarantine measures on arrivals from other countries when their weekly rate of new cases rises above 20 per 100,000 people.

The health secretary said the rise in cases in Bolton is “partly due to socialising by people in their 20s and 30s”.

He added: “We know this from contact tracing.

“And through our contacting tracing system we’ve identified a number of pubs at which the virus has spread significantly.”

Mr Hancock added that visitor restrictions will be put in place in care homes in Bolton as part of the tightened measures.

He told MPs: “We’re also putting in place extra measures including visitor restrictions to restrict the spread of virus into care homes and hospitals in Bolton and I want to thank the leadership of Bolton Council who are doing an outstanding job in very difficult circumstances.”

matt hancock

Mr Hancock added: “And I want to say this to everybody directly living in Bolton – I know how anxious this can be, and I know the impact that these measures will have.

“We’re asking you to take a step back at a time when we all just want to get on with our lives and what we love and back to normal. But we need to take this crucial step to keep the virus at bay.

“Because as we’ve seen elsewhere, if we act early and control the virus then we can save lives.”

The health secretary continued: “Now I know social distancing can be hard, and how it can be extra-tough for students who will be starting university – but please, stick with it and play your part in getting this virus under control.”

It comes as West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said there had been “a very notable increase in Birmingham and Solihull” infection rates in the last few days.

He said the imposition of “additional restrictions” were now looking “likely” while stressing no final decisions had yet been taken.

The infection rate in the week ending 5 September was 62.4 cases per 100,000 in Birmingham, while in neighbouring Solihull it was 46.1, according to NHS Digital.

Public Health Wales data shows there has been 46.4 cases per 100,000 population in the past 14 days, while Rhondda Cynon Taf has had 46.8 cases per 100,000.

Cardiff has had 128 confirmed cases of coronavirus, equalling 34.9 per 100,000.

A further eight people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,619, NHS England said on Tuesday.

The patients were aged between 43 and 92 and all had known underlying health conditions.

The dates of the deaths were between 5 September and 7 September.

Another three deaths were reported with no positive COVID-19 test result.