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Manchester was rammed as people headed out for one last hurrah

Written by on 09/10/2020

One last blowout. Manchester is absolutely rammed.

Millions of people across major towns and cities across the north of England know they face tougher, tighter restrictions early next week – it’s why this weekend they are taking full advantage.

In Manchester, a current coronavirus hotspot and a university city home to tens of thousands of students, it is incredibly busy right up until the 10pm curfew.

Bars, restaurants and shisha cafes are full to the brim.

It’s clear people just want one last hurrah before they descend into what will feel like a second lockdown.

A bar worker clears away chairs in Manchester as pubs and restaurants look set to face tougher restrictions
Image: A bar worker clears away chairs in Manchester as pubs and restaurants look set to face tougher restrictions

In the city centre, pubs and bars were at full capacity on Friday evening – it was near impossible to get a booking at a restaurant.

Shisha cafes on the notorious Curry Mile, a nickname for a part of Wilmslow Road in south Manchester, were as busy as an Eid holiday.

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Businesses here are thriving, but come 10pm, the house lights are on, music is turned off and people are herded out of venues like sheep.

Two drinkers are seen in Manchester pub on Friday as the city faces tighter restrictions
Image: Two drinkers are seen in a Manchester pub on Friday as the city faces tighter restrictions

But then you hear questions like “where shall we go now?” and “what shall we do next?”

People walk the streets aimlessly trying to decide on their next move, after all for a Friday, the night is still young.

On the Curry Mile, traffic was bumper to bumper as hundreds of cars left at one time.

One group of women told us: “We had to do this tonight otherwise we’d not see each other for weeks.”

One man who just left a dessert parlour told us: “Everyone knows these places are going to be completely shut next week so this weekend is going to be bananas.”

Venues have measures in place, the QR check-in codes are everywhere, but people don’t really seem that fussed about the virus.

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Social distancing is pretty much non-existent and very few are wearing masks in and out of these places.

“I’m not as worried as I was first time round, I don’t need to be,” one person told us.

And while some businesses are losing out on custom because of the 10pm curfew, many are still incredibly happy because it’s so busy – they too want to get as much cash in the tills before they shut completely, for who knows how long?

It is difficult to put the blame on anyone here, what people are doing isn’t illegal, they’re not breaking the rules by going out for food, drinks and shisha – but while all this is going on the virus is spreading across the North of England, especially in Manchester and it’s putting people in hospital once again.

That’s the worry here and that’s one of the main reasons the government is having to take action next week.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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