“WE are in the last chance saloon – we need to obey the rules or go into further lockdown.”

This is the stark warning issued to Bury residents by health and council bosses as the latest coronavirus figures were revealed.

Leaders have warned the borough is teetering on the brink of having an ‘Oldham-style’ lockdown, or perhaps even more severe restrictions imposed.

Bury now has the 13th highest Covid-19 rate in the England as cases continue to rise.

Although rates are dropping across Greater Manchester ­— Bury’s rate is three times the national average.

Cllr Andrea Simpson, health cabinet, said: “This is the sixth weekly rise in a row in Bury, and we are now firmly in the Government’s sights. Unless this infection rate comes down immediately, we may be placed into the sort of extra measures that Oldham and Blackburn were, and possibly more.”

According to the latest figures, there were 67 confirmed new cases in the week ending August 22. That number is up from 63 cases the previous week, and 51 the week before that.

Meanwhile the seven-day infection rate in Bury is now 35.2 per 100,000 people, up from 33.1 last week and 26.8 previously.

The largest number of cases was recorded in Whitefield. However, cases are evenly spread out among all areas of the borough.

The figures per neighbourhood are: Bury North: 15 cases (infection rate 35.0); Bury East: 12 cases (32.9); Bury West (includes Radcliffe): 11 cases (24.2); Whitefield: 16 cases (53.3); Prestwich: 13 cases (37.0);

People aged between 18 and 39 account for more than half of the new cases in Bury. The percentage of positive tests in Bury has also increased. Transmission of the virus within households is a significant source of new infections. This occurs when people spread the virus to members of their family after catching it in the community.

Cllr Simpson added: “Too many people are not wearing masks in shops, are still meeting up in large groups from several households, and not keeping two metres apart.

“A few then catch the virus, and bring it home to spread among their families. It has to stop, and now. We simply must take responsibility for our own actions. I urge everyone – residents, families and businesses - to obey the law and follow the guidance, or we will be put into lockdown.”

Covid-19 guidance states, among other things, you must not meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden and you must not visit someone else’s home or garden - even if they live outside the affected areas.