Crowds flood Manchester streets after ‘shambolic’ new 10pm closing time

This was the scene in Manchester city centre on Saturday night as pubs, bars and restaurants closed at 10pm under the new lockdown rules.

Crowds spilled out onto the streets as venues closed early as part of the curfew imposed earlier this week.

Photos showed people gathering outside after last orders.

One city centre worker tweeted: “I work in hospitality in Manchester city centre for over 10 years, and never, ever have I seen anything as bad as when I left work at 10pm.

Police officers on patrol outside a takeway last night
(Image: Adam Vaughan)

“It is extremely dangerous.

“Absolutely awful for us all involved.”

Another city centre worker posted: “I finished work at 10pm and couldn’t get the bus home.

“It was absolute carnage outside the great Northern, police were there but there’s too many people.”

Manchester’s nightlife tsar Sacha Lord tweeted: “It’s very clear, across the UK, that this ill thought out 10pm curfew, has pushed everyone out of venues with socially distanced measures, into the streets, into off-licenses, supermarkets, over crowded public transport and house parties.

“Every operator predicted this.

“Shambolic.”

Crowds spilled out onto the streets as venues closed early as part of the curfew
(Image: Adam Vaughan)

The new rules for hospitality came in on Thursday (September 24), meaning this was the first weekend when revellers were sent home early as venues closed.

One onlooker who was in the Gay Village at closing time said after a busy 20 minute period either side of 10pm, the crowds soon dispersed.

He added: “By about 9.50pm it started getting busy and the kebab shops and takeaways were filling up.

Manchester nightlife tsar Sacha Lord described the new curfew as ‘shambolic’
(Image: Adam Vaughan)

“At 10pm everyone was congregating in the street in big groups, but police turned up and by 10.20pm everyone had left and it was dead.”

On Saturday, Greater Manchester Police issued a statement reminding people of the new rules.

It said: “Pubs, bars and restaurants now close at 10pm

“If you’re out this evening, it’s important to plan your journey home.

“It may be busier than normal after 10pm. “

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