Outdoor drinking banned as lockdown tightens in Manchester

Drinking outdoors has been banned in Manchester city centre over the Bank Holiday weekend due to coronavirus safety fears.

People in the city are already banned from meeting people from different households indoors or in private gardens after the Government re-imposed lockdown restrictions in large parts of the north after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

But Greater Manchester Police will tighten measures further over the weekend fearing too many revellers will be out drinking in open spaces.

Inspector Jonathan Shilvock said: ‘Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, events taking place over the bank holiday weekend have had to be cancelled for fears around public health and a possible lack of social distancing.

‘In previous years during managed and licensed events people have been permitted to consume alcohol in open spaces, however due to this year’s events being cancelled, and for the fear of the effect it has on public health, there is a Public Space Protection Order in place in Manchester city centre which prohibits the consumption of alcohol in a non-licenced public place and will be enforced this weekend by Greater Manchester Police.

‘Public health is one of GMP’s priorities and we will do all that we can to ensure the population comply with the legislation, keeping the population safe.

‘We urge anyone planning on gathering in the city centre this weekend to think twice, listen to government guidelines and protect the health of your family and friends by keeping to the social distancing rules this weekend.’

Despite the regional lockdown, Greater Manchester Police said they attended 40 indoor gatherings on Thursday last week.

The force said it has been getting 2,000 extra calls a week about house parties.

More to follow.

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