PUBLIC health bosses are urging people to stay away from Holcombe Hill this Easter weekend as Covid-19 continues across Bury.

Thousands of people traditionally take a trek to Peel Tower on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but there are fears that high numbers of walkers would make social distancing impossible.

The car park at Lumb Carr Road will be locked to dissuade people from driving to the hill, along with the car park at St Mary’s Park.

Under the Government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions, from today (Monday, March 29) outdoor gatherings of six people or two households will be allowed. While the ‘stay at home’ rule will end, many restrictions will remain in place. People are advised to minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, and avoid travel at the busiest times and routes.

Cllr Andrea Simpson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “After a year of lockdown, we’re all desperate to get out there and enjoy the countryside, and get our lives back to normal.

“And we’ve made great strides in tackling coronavirus, with around half of adults registered with a Bury GP now having had at least one Covid-19 vaccination.

“But new strains of the virus are out there – and our infection rate in Bury is still well above the national average. Thousands of people mixing together at Easter carries a very real risk of causing infection to spread and making people very ill.”

She added: “Some people are looking at the restrictions in terms of what they are legally allowed to do. A better way of looking at it is ‘how can I stop this virus spreading and protect myself and my family?’

“Please continue to follow the rules for now: they are there to protect us.”