As Manchester sits on the brink of tier 3 restrictions, on Saturday night punters were out for one last celebration
Quieter streets, emptier tables, but smiles aplenty – this was the scene in Manchester city centre last night.
Despite a week of anger and confusion, revellers took to the city’s bars and pubs for one last knee’s up, before the intended implementation of tier 3 restrictions are set to take place.
However, this didn’t affect the mood of Saturday night’s mood as many people can be seen enjoying a few drinks in a socially distanced fashion.
This comes as local MPs and the government have been at loggerheads over the level of financial support Greater Manchester would get if it is forced, like Liverpool City Region, to accept the most severe coronavirus restrictions.
Pressure mounted earlier this week when Mayor Andy Burnham took a dramatic stance against the implementation of tier 3, accusing the Government of treating the north “with contempt” and of trying to make it the “sacrificial lamb” for unproven measures that were being carried out “on the cheap”.
He said on Thursday: “We have to protect the health of the nation but let’s do it as one nation, and not make the North of England the sacrificial lamb for an ill-thought-through Downing Street policy which doesn’t make sense in the real world.”
However, earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed concern over the rising levels of covid-19 in Manchester and called for local leaders to ‘act’.
He said to broadcasters: “I am, I have to say, concerned about what’s happening in Manchester where the levels of infection are rising steeply, the level of hospitalisation is rising steeply and we do need to see action.
“I’d much rather not impose things, I’d much rather that we were able to work out something together with local authorities, with the mayor in Manchester.
“But it is up to local leaders to show the kind of leadership that we have seen in Liverpool, in Lancashire and in London.”
In a press conference on Friday afternoon, he suggested the government would have to ‘intervene’ if the local government couldn’t come to an agreement.
Nonetheless, many people seized the opportunity to enjoy their freedom, in what was a very quiet but jovial night out.
Meanwhile, in the Printworks, couple’s kept to their lanes as they walked through the arcade arm-in-arm.
Then at 10pm when venues closed their doors – the streets soon emptied as revellers bought a takeaway and headed home.
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News – Last night in Manchester city centre in pictures