Pubs should "expect to close" if social distancing is not practised

Date published: 31 July 2020

Pubs could be forced to close if social distancing is not being observed by patrons.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey of Greater Manchester Police said that officers would only take enforcement action as a last resort when people are not listening or putting others at risk.

"The guidance around attending licensed premises remains the same in that the premises should be managing social distancing requirements. If it is clear they cannot meet this requirement, and people are not social distancing, then they will be expected to close or face the prospect of police enforcing closure.

"This weekend we will be again increasing our resources dedicated to preventing illegal raves and large gatherings. We have already prevented a number of events from taking place, arrested a number of people in connection with the irresponsible organisation of unlicensed and seized equipment.

"There is a clear risk from attendance at any of these events or gatherings as there are no safety measures in place and we urge everyone to stay away. We understand the frustration of not being able to continue social lives, or visit friends and family, however the risk of Coronavirus is still present and attending events in large groups is in breach of Covid legislation."

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey

The Assistant Chief Constable added they expected a rise in calls over the weekend to report breaches, but warned against unnecessary emergency calls.  The GMP website hosts a LiveChat function, as well as taking non-emergency calls on 101.

He added that Eid celebrations would be different this year: "Today also marks Eid al-Adha so many of our Muslim communities will have woken up this morning to find that their celebrations this year may need to be changed at short notice.

"I can only imagine how upsetting this may be, and our officers will engage with community partners and our Muslim communities with understanding and compassion in the coming days to help explain the guidelines and keep people safe."

Changes to local restrictions can be found here.

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