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Police have said they will enforce a ban on outdoor drinking in Manchester city centre over the Bank Holiday weekend due to COVID-19 fears.
Authorities have decided to enforce the restrictions because they are concerned people may congregate in large groups which would make it easier for coronavirus to spread.
Greater Manchester and other areas in northern England have been placed under extra measures compared to most of the rest of England due to a spike in cases.
Residents there have been told not to meet people they don’t live with inside private homes, except if in a support bubble, or visit someone’s home or garden if they live in the affected areas.
Inspector Jonathan Shilvock, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: “Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic, events taking place over the bank holiday weekend have had to be cancelled for fears around public health and a possible lack of social distancing.
“In previous years during managed and licensed events people have been permitted to consume alcohol in open spaces, however due to this year’s events being cancelled, and for the fear of the effect it has on public health, there is a Public Space Protection Order in place in Manchester city centre, which prohibits the consumption of alcohol in a non-licenced public place and will be enforced this weekend by Greater Manchester Police.
“Public health is one of GMP’s priorities and we will do all that we can to ensure the population comply with the legislation, keeping the population safe.
“We urge anyone planning on gathering in the city centre this weekend to think twice, listen to government guidelines and protect the health of your family and friends by keeping to the social distancing rules this weekend.”
Pubs and restaurants will remain open to customers but they will have to follow social distancing rules to avoid households mixing.
Police in Manchester were dispatched to 40 house parties that went ahead last Thursday despite coronavirus restrictions, with one seeing an officer suffer a broken jaw.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey told BBC Radio Manchester the force has been dealing with an extra 2,000 calls a week since the new COVID rules were introduced.
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