Huge crowds were seen chanting and partying in Liverpool on the last evening before pubs closed under new lockdown measures. The area in Merseyside – along with Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, and Halton – is the first in the country to be plunged back into strict lockdown.
The Prime Minister announced on Monday the Liverpool city region is now in the most serious ‘very high’ risk category, with pubs, bars, leisure centers, gyms, betting shops, and casinos closing from today.
But pubgoers enjoyed a last hurrah yesterday evening as they were seen cheering and chanting with a lack of social distancing in the streets.
Boris Johnson said: ‘We have been able to reach an agreement with leaders in Merseyside. Local authorities in the Liverpool city region will move into the “very high” alert level from Wednesday.
‘In addition to the baseline I have outlined, that is as well as pubs and bars, in Merseyside gyms and leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will also close.
‘I would like to put on record my thanks to Steve Rotheram and his colleagues for their cooperation in very difficult circumstances.
‘Engagement with other leaders in the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire and Humber is continuing.
Drinkers enjoyed their last night out in Liverpool(Picture: London News Pictures)
The city region is now under strict tier 3 lockdown measures (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)
Pubs, bars, leisure centers, gyms, betting shops, and casinos in Liverpool are closed from today (Picture: London News Pictures)
It is hoped the new measures will stop the fast rise in infections in the area (Picture: Reuters)
‘I know how difficult this is, they like us, like everyone in this House is grappling with very real dilemmas, but we cannot let the NHS fall over when lives are at stake.’
The most serious tier 3 is applied to areas where the risk from coronavirus is judged to be ‘very high’ – the highest of the three tiers. In tier 3, members of more than one household are banned from mixing with one another in any setting indoors as well as private gardens.
People in those areas are still allowed to meet in a public space, but the rule of six still applies. You can also still meet indoors or outdoors within your support bubble.
Weddings are not allowed, while travel in and out of affected areas is discouraged. Schools, universities and shops remain open.
In ‘very high’ alert level areas, gyms can remain open although local authorities may choose to close them – as is the case in Liverpool.
But there has been confusion after pubs were told they could remain open under tier 3, as long as they operated ‘solely as a restaurant’ and not a drinking hole.