Published: Tuesday, 24th Mar 2020

Daily update on Bolton Council’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As you will be aware, last night (March 23) the Prime Minister announced a number of strict measures requiring people to stay at home except for a small number of exceptions.

Bolton residents should follow these directions to the letter and only leave their home for:

  • Shopping for necessities (food and medicine) as infrequent as possible
  • One form of exercise a day (run, walk, cycle) alone or with members of your household
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

These measures, which will be in place until further notice, are essential to slowing the spread of the virus and ensuring our NHS is not overwhelmed.

Government advice is constantly changing in response to the pandemic. All the latest guidance on social distancing, self-isolation, hand hygiene and more – has been collected here.

As ever, the council’s top priority is the welfare of our staff, local residents and the most vulnerable members of our community.

Update on council services

Due to the nature and scale of the situation, we are making decisions on a daily basis as things evolve. We are doing this through our Incident Management Team. Our decisions are being taken to ensure the safety of our staff and our residents.

Shielding vulnerable people

The Government has issued guidance on “Shielding” measures for extremely vulnerable people with serious underlying health conditions.

The council is drawing detailed plans to make sure anyone who is asked to follow this guidance is supported.

Bolton Market:

Stalls selling food and other essential items will remain open as normal until further notice.

Customers will be reminded to observe social distancing guidance via signs and public announcements every 15 minutes. 


In line with last night’s Government announcement, parks in Bolton have reopened for exercise purposes. However, some restrictions will remain in place:

  • Equipped play areas will be closed
  • Multi-use games areas, tennis courts and bowling greens will also be closed
  • Car parks will be closed


For the time being, all marriage registrations have stopped and no bookings for weddings are being taken for the rest of the year.


We will register births if there is an urgent need to do so, for example if a benefit claim needs to be made.  We are working with the Local Resilience Forum to put provisions in place to register all births.

Deaths, funerals and burials:

For the time being, deaths can be registered with the council as normal.

Funerals at the crematorium will be limited to a maximum of ten guests.

Every effort is being made to ensure burials can take place in accordance with the requirements of all faiths and beliefs.


We will do all we can to support existing licence holders, however due to the current unprecedented challenges we have made the following changes to our services:

  • For now, the counter facilities will close
  • All business will be moved online (where possible)
  • Private hire and hackney carriage vehicles and drivers expiring before the 30th June:
    • Will be required to complete and submit a ‘self-certification online form’ and once verified the licence can be extend to 30th September 2020
    • Further information is available by contacting the licensing team by email at (preferred option) or by telephoning 01204 336584 and choosing option 1 (there maybe delays due to call volumes)
    • Or by asking your trade representative / private hire operator / looking on the Council website at the licensing pages
  • The 6 week grace period for those drivers that expire before the 30th June will be extended to the 30th September, this is for anyone not wishing to apply to extend their licence
  • This will be reviewed in light of any new Government guidance


We are working hard to collect waste as normal, but regret that this might not always be possible.

At this stage, priority will be given to the collection of grey bins, food waste containers and green bins. Recycling bins will be emptied where possible so please continue to present all bins on the appropriate collection day.

If your bins are not emptied please take them back onto your property until your next scheduled collection day, as we will not be able to return for any that have not been emptied.

In order to comply with the Government instructions issued last night, Recycle for Greater Manchester has closed all household waste and recycling centres.

Other links and information:

  • Business Bolton has the latest advice and guidance for local businesses
  • Bolton CVS has information about volunteering opportunities