A “large crowd” had to disperse from Liverpool downtown after the pubs closed at 10pm last night – just hours before severe layer 3 corona virus restrictions were to be imposed.
Footage posted on social media showed dozens of people dancing in Concert Square, one of the city’s busiest nightlife hotspots.
Some appeared to be wearing masks or following social distance measures.
A video posted on Snapshot showed the crowd last night: “Herd immunity, here we come.”
In a statement, Merseyside police told Sky News that a large crowd had quickly and safely dispersed – and that the incident had stopped after all businesses in the area were closed.
“While we understand how disgusting the new rules that are to be implemented today can be to some, we continue to advise everyone to be bound for the safety of all – including keeping social distance,” said Chief Superintendent Peter Costello.
According to the Liverpool Echo, a police car was attacked in Concert Square – with one witness saying “a large group of young parties are violating every social distance rule imaginable”.
As of midnight, the Liverpool metropolitan area is subject to the country’s most severe corona virus control, which means bars and pubs will have to close if they can no longer function as restaurants.
Residents are also barred from interacting indoors and in private gardens with other homes.
Currently, Liverpool City is the only area on the “highest” alert level – but Sky News understands that “Gold Command” meeting Nearby Greater Manchester and Lancashire are also in the process of deciding whether to fall into this category.
In the seven days from October 10, 3,164 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Liverpool – equivalent to 635.3 cases per 100,000 people. This compares with 555 in the seven days from October 3rd.
Hundreds of pubs across the city will now have to be closed – and Tier 3 means no more mixing inside or outside homes.
Eyewitness: “People seem to have resigned to more restrictions in their daily lives”
Written by news reporter Alex Rosie
Liverpool’s last night before pubs and bars were locked was often a modest affair.
The streets were mostly quiet and many places were barely filled.
At Ted Graffiti Beer Company – a 15-minute walk from Concert Square – they called the last orders at 9.15pm. At the sound of the bell, customers seem to have resigned themselves to more restrictions in their daily lives.
The owner, Gareth Morgan, told me he would continue to sell beer online, but he was not subjected to any illusions, which would be difficult for a few months – and he was frustrated with what the government was doing.
He told Sky News: “It feels like we’ve been forced to leave. There is no evidence that this massive spike in Liverpool is hospitality. I do not deny Spike.
“There’s a huge influx of students. We’m a big university town, all the offices have gone back to work, schools have gone back – and hospitality, which has been traded without a big spike for two and a half months, is now being charged.”
The rules that come into force do not only affect the hospitality sector. Gyms, racing shops and casinos will also be closed – and people will be barred from socializing outside their home in any indoor or outdoor setting.
The government says an infection rate is needed to reduce R-oil in Liverpool.
Deaths in Liverpool have doubled in the past week, and hospital admissions are on the rise all the time.
The virus is on the rise – and alarmingly, public health officials say the virus is still in development.
But Westminster is far from here – and many are angry at how the rules have been handed down.
Independent fitness owners also say that these closures are not based on evidence – and that closing them could damage people’s mental and physical well-being, as well as lead to potential businesses going under.
Nick Whitcomb, of Body Tech Fitness, said he would open his doors to new restrictions.
He added: “How we see this is that you have the value of a penalty against the cost of losing the whole business. Whether it’s a fight or a plane, we have no choice here. It’s not a case if we close, we lose a little money. Let’s get out of business. This is our only way. We have no choice – we have to pay a fine or lose everything. “
Activities may be reviewed within a four-week period, but the future here is uncertain.
The question is whether other areas in the worst locking section will soon join this city in the next few days.