Photo: Darren Robinson Photography

Last week, new stricter measures were introduced across Greater Manchester, meaning members of different households could no longer meet in private gardens or indoors, including homes, pubs and restaurants.

Now, Sacha Lord, the  Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, has advised the public that they must abide by the new rules in order to avoid the possibility of larger, stricter lockdown measures seen elsewhere in the UK.

Sacha’s statement comes after Greater Manchester Police revealed it had its busiest weekend for coronavirus-related calls in nine weeks, with reports of more than 750 illegal gatherings last weekend.

“Yesterday we saw new restrictions imposed in Aberdeen, placing 5pm curfews on pubs and restaurants across the city and these are the types of stricter regulations we absolutely want to avoid here in Greater Manchester,” said Sacha in a statement.

It is clearly a very difficult time for everyone involved in the hospitality and leisure industries and the majority of operators are working their hardest to keep people safe.

Manchester warned to follow the rules - or face stricter lockdown I Love Manchester

But over the past week, I have heard of numerous pubs, bars and restaurants who have been squeezing customers in, flouting social distancing rules, ignoring contact tracing and actively persuading mixed groups not to cancel bookings.

These venues clearly have a disregard for the safety of both their customers and their staff, and I support our Mayor, Andy Burnham, and Greater Manchester Police in taking action over repeat breaches in these venues.

It’s also crucial that the general public takes responsibility too. We must work together to show venues that we will not stand for those who break the rules. If you feel uncomfortable, or that an establishment does not have the right procedures in place then I urge you to take your booking elsewhere.

“In addition we must all take the household restrictions seriously.

“As this week’s heat wave draws in, it seems unnatural not to be with our friends and go out, but we have seen a big spike in Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks in our region and the regulations are in place for a reason – to keep you safe.

Disregarding social distancing not only puts yourself in danger, but also those you meet on your way home, at work, and those who live with you.

Manchester warned to follow the rules - or face stricter lockdown I Love Manchester
Photo: Darren Robinson Photography

It’s vital that we only stick to socialising within our household groups and refrain from mixing with others for the next couple of weeks until infections can be brought under control.

“It really is on us if we want to avoid a larger lockdown.”

During his press conference yesterday, Mr Burnham also led calls for enforcement on venues that do not abide by regulations, saying, “The priority will be targeted enforcement of repeat offenders. It builds on an approach we took when there was concern about house parties.

“Greater Manchester Police worked very effectively with our councils in identifying addresses that were repeat offenders and action was taken.”

Further information on the measures is available here.

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