Published: Wednesday, 20th May 2020

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

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. Please help to slow down the spread of infection and follow national guidance on social distancing, self-isolation and hand washing

For further information, visit the NHS website and the GOV webpage.

Everyone (over the age of five) with symptoms now eligible for coronavirus tests

The government has announced that anyone with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), over the age of five, is now eligible to book a test.

This means people should self-isolate immediately if they have:

  • a new, continuous cough
  • a high temperature, or
  • a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste (Anosmia)

To book a test please click on this link and fill in this form

Those unable to access the internet can call 119 to book a test. All members of their household must also self-isolate according to current guidelines, unless the symptomatic individual receives a negative test result.

Reopening of schools and early years settings

From 1 June, more children will be returning to schools and early years settings in Bolton.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh and Executive Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Anne Galloway, have stressed: “Our priority is for the safety and wellbeing of our children and our whole community”.

Read the full joint statement on our website.

Struggling to cope - Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

Today’s theme during Mental Health Awareness Week is the help available if you or others are struggling to cope in the current circumstances.

It’s important to recognise that some people will feel so overwhelmed they need professional support, and some may even think about suicide.

For Mental Health Awareness week this year we are focusing on kindness, with the week running from 18 - 24 May.

The focus on kindness is a response to the coronavirus outbreak, which is having a big impact on people's mental health.

Everyone will be reacting in their own way. You might be feeling down, worried or anxious.

Remember, it is OK to feel like this. These are normal reactions to uncertainty and to challenging times.

This is a chance for us all to focus on our mental health and wellbeing with the view to using everyday hints and tips throughout our life.

It is all about:

  • Being kind to others
  • Being kind to ourselves

Heaton Fold new opening times

Heaton Fold Garden Centre is temporarily adjusting its opening times to allow staff more time to re-stock and prepare for the day ahead.

Weekday opening times will now match those at the weekend – the centre will be open 10am to 4pm (Mon-Sun).

The centre, Overdale Drive, off Chorley Old Road had been closed as part of the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and re-opened on Friday 15 May.

The first weekend opening of the council-run centre was a great success with many customers making very positive comments about the social distancing measures that had been put in place to make their visit safe.

University of Bolton update

The University of Bolton has announced a detailed range of measures being implemented to ensure that all students and staff can return safely to campus in September.

An animated video has also been produced to explain the measures to students and applicants.

Update about council services

Top award for council street smarts

For the third year running, Bolton Council has won a national award for its outstanding management of the street information database.

Bolton’s Humanitarian response

Support for the most vulnerable   

Please ring our helpline 01204 337221 if you do not have friends or family to support you. Further information is on our website.

Community Support

Bolton can quit

Bolton has launched the ‘Bolton Can Quit’ stop-smoking campaign to encourage people to #QuitForCovid.

The campaign aims to help smokers to quit during the current coronavirus pandemic and supports Greater Manchester’s ‘You Can’ stop smoking campaign.

For further information, see our website.

New information about coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms has been announced

The UK Chief Medical Officers have provided an update about coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

All individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia (the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell).

Business support

Future Fund update

Eligibility details for the Future Fund, which was set up to provide government loans to UK-based companies has been updated. 

Loans will range from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

Please note that applications for the Fund will open on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees.

The repayment will cover up to two weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • Have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms;
  • Cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms; or
  • Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks.

Business Bolton help

Information and support available to businesses can be found on our Business Bolton website.

Partner update

Check your vehicle number plate before you visit a recycling centre

To help manage traffic, residents are being reminded that an odd and even number plate system is in place.

This means you can only visit Raikes Lane and Salford Road centres on certain days depending on the last number on your vehicle number plate.

Check the Recycle For Greater Manchester website before you go to see whether it’s an odd or an even day, and for details of other restrictions in place.

Opening hours: Raikes Lane is open 8am to 6pm each day, Salford Road is only open weekends (Saturday: 8am to 6pm, Sunday: 10am to 4pm).

This week’s timetable:


Vehicle number plates  

Tuesday 19th May


Wednesday 20th May


Thursday 21st May


Friday 22nd May 


Saturday 23rd May


Sunday 24th May


Latest travel advice

The government’s latest advice is that you should stay at home as much as possible, work from home if you can, stay local and only travel if it is necessary.

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Only travel if necessary – work from home and stay local if you can.
  • Protect public transport for those with no alternative – do not use it unless you have to.
  • If you need to travel, walk, cycle or drive if you can.
  • If you have to use public transport wear a face covering, keep your distance from other passengers, clean your hands frequently and use contactless payment.

If you are an employer or employee about to return to a workplace which has recently reopened, TfGM has produced a factsheet with further information to support you.

For the latest updates visit the TfGM coronavirus webpage.

For the latest updates from our partners

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust; Bolton at Home, Bolton CVS, Greater Manchester Fire Service, Transport for Greater Manchester