Drinkers were seen meeting in the street despite the cold weather. Under Tier 2 measures, it is against the rules to meet people from different households indoors, however it is possible to meet outdoors
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Revellers in cities under Tier 2 restrictions hit bars and the streets last night as new coronavirus measures came into force.
Drinkers were seen in London, Leeds and Manchester, mainly meeting in the street despite the cold weather.
Being under Tier 2 restrictions means residents are not allowed to mix with people from different households in indoor settings.
Meeting outdoors, such as in gardens or in the street, is allowed provided that people follow the rule of six – meaning there cannot be more than six people together at one time, with some exceptions.
Some people in central London braved the cold to have a drink or a walk outside after the capital was placed into the high Covid alert level due to a spike in coronavirus cases.
Hospitality businesses have reported many cancellations this weekend because people cannot have dinner or drinks in indoor venues with friends or family outside their own household.
But the new measures did not deter drinkers from meeting completely, as many met outside and sat on tables in the streets on Saturday evening.
In Manchester and Leeds, where Tier 2 restrictions have been in place since Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the new rules last week, revellers danced even after pubs closed for the 10pm curfew.
Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said the industry’s worst fears were confirmed as cancellations soared and revenues slumped dramatically.
She said: “The first day of Tier 2 restrictions saw the hospitality sector’s worst fears confirmed with a 50 per cent increase in cancellations and a fall in forward bookings.
“Venues across the capital saw significantly reduced footfall meaning revenues slumped by 85 per cent in central London.”
Bosses have warned Boris Johnson that businesses need more economic support packages or they will not be able to survive and will face mass redundancies or failures because of the coronavirus crisis.
The British Chambers of Commerce told the Prime Minister that any new lockdown restrictions must come with “truly commensurate” financial support or risk “catastrophic economic consequences”.
More than half of people in England are currently living under stricter coronavirus restrictions announced by the Government following a spike in positive Covid-19 cases.
The Liverpool City region and Lancashire are facing Tier 3 measures due to the high number of coronavirus cases.
Tier 3 measures involve pub closures and different households being banned from mixing indoors or outdoors.
The measures came into force as Greater Manchester continued to resist the highest controls as the region’s political leaders fight to secure more financial support for workers and businesses.
Pubs in Lancashire that cannot function as restaurants were closed on Saturday, as it joined the Liverpool region in having Tier 3 restrictions.
People in London, Essex, York, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield can no longer mix inside with those from other households, including in pubs and restaurants.
The new measures placed more than 28 million people in England into the top two tiers of restrictions.
Boris Johnson warned Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham on Friday he would impose Tier 3 measures if they could not reach an agreement as he warned of a “grave” situation.
The Prime Minister said during a Downing Street press conference: “I cannot stress enough: time is of the essence.
“Each day that passes before action is taken means more people will go to hospital, more people will end up in intensive care and tragically more people will die.”
Mr Burnham and council leaders across Greater Manchester responded by insisting they have done “everything within our power to protect the health of our residents”, and said people and firms need greater financial support before accepting the lockdown.
They also suggested in a joint statement that Downing Street had delayed discussions, adding: “We can assure the Prime Minister that we are ready to meet at any time to try to agree a way forward.”
The row continued as people in Tier 2 or 3 areas in England, as well as the central belt of Scotland and the whole of Northern Ireland, were banned from entering Wales from 6pm on Friday.
And pubs, restaurants and cafes across Northern Ireland had to close their doors to sit-in customers.
In Lancashire, a further 1.5 million people entered Tier 3 as the Government said the move was necessary to stem the “unrelenting rise” in Covid-19 cases in the North West county.
Pubs and bars across Lancashire will close unless they serve food and alcohol as part of a sit-down meal, while stricter restrictions on socialising will also come into force.
People will not be able to mix with others in any indoor setting or private garden, as well as in most outdoor hospitality venues.
Casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers, betting shops, soft play areas and adult gaming centres will be forced to shut, while car boot sales will also be banned.
But gyms will remain open despite them being closed in the Liverpool City Region – the only other area under Tier 3 restrictions.
A further 16,171 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, meaning the total number of diagnosed cases is now over 700,000.
A further 150 people have died from coronavirus over the past day in the UK, bringing the country’s death toll to 43,579.
News – Revellers in London, Leeds and Manchester hit bars despite Tier 2 restrictions