Large crowds descend on northern towns for night out ahead of pub closures

George Martin
·3 min read
People out socialising in Newcastle city centre, ahead of the 10pm curfew that pubs and restaurants are subject to in order to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. Cities in northern England and other areas suffering a surge in Covid-19 cases may have pubs and restaurants temporarily closed to combat the spread of the virus.
People out socialising in Newcastle city centre on Saturday night. (PA)

Crowds flocked to town centres across the north of England on Saturday night ahead of a possible tightening of coronavirus measures in the region.

Pictures showed revellers enjoying a night out in large numbers in Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool as Boris Johnson looks poised to shut pubs in the cities.

The prime minister is expected to outline a new three-tiered system of restrictions on Monday with measures expected to force pubs and restaurants shut across the north of England.

A further 15,166 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK were reported on Saturday, and 81 more deaths were confirmed of people who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.

People out socialising in Liverpool city centre, ahead of the 10pm curfew that pubs and restaurants are subject to in order to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. Cities in northern England and other areas suffering a surge in Covid-19 cases may have pubs and restaurants temporarily closed to combat the spread of the virus.
A man carries a girl in Liverpool on Saturday night. (PA)
People out socialising in Newcastle city centre make their way home, after the 10pm curfew that pubs and restaurants in England are subject to in order to combat the rise in coronavirus cases. Cities in northern England and other areas suffering a surge in Covid-19 cases may have pubs and restaurants temporarily closed to combat the spread of the virus.
Revellers enjoying a night out in Newcastle. (PA)

Real estate adviser Altus Group has said there are 7,171 pubs in areas with restrictions across the north of England at risk of temporary closure.

Northern leaders have hit out at the government over the plans, warning that the economic impact would be devastating.

Read more: Government criticised for treating North 'like a petri dish' as tougher restrictions considered

Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said there was a "large gulf" in discussions about new restrictions.

He told Times Radio: "We seem to have an almost impossible task of penetrating the Westminster bubble."

Other mayors and council leaders in the North have said local economies could be "shattered" as a result of the new measures.

A police officer reminds workers in Newcastle city centre of the 10pm curfew that pubs and restaurants in England are subject to in order to combat the rise in coronavirus cases. Cities in northern England and other areas suffering a surge in Covid-19 cases may have pubs and restaurants temporarily closed to combat the spread of the virus.
A police officer reminds workers in Newcastle city centre of the 10pm curfew. (PA)
People out socialising in Liverpool city centre, ahead of the 10pm curfew that pubs and restaurants are subject to in order to combat the rise in coronavirus cases in England. Cities in northern England and other areas suffering a surge in Covid-19 cases may have pubs and restaurants temporarily closed to combat the spread of the virus.
Cities in northern England and other areas are suffering a surge in Covid-19 cases. (PA)

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham called for more financial support and consultation, telling Times Radio: "If they continue with this, jobs will be lost, businesses will collapse, the fragile economies of the North will be shattered."

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said that if the Government does not offer economic support for people and businesses during the lockdown they will have to pay instead for people to be on benefits.

He said: "If this was in London we wouldn't be talking about this. It's because it's the North West they want to do it on the cheap and we are not going to allow them to do that."

While Labour's shadow foreign secretary, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy, said it is "probably right" for greater restrictions to be placed on pubs.

She told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "Now I think it is probably right to say that there are going to have to be restrictions on pubs. I think the length of time that young people spend in pubs probably is part of the driving force around this."

But she hit out at the way the Government was handling the situation, adding: "They're treating us with contempt, but more importantly they're treating people across this country with contempt as well."

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