Millions of people in major cities across northern England know they face tighter restrictions early next week – which is why this weekend they are taking full advantage.
In Manchester, a current coronavirus A hotspot and college town with tens of thousands of students, it’s incredibly busy until the 10pm curfew.
Shisha bars, restaurants and cafes are packed.
It’s clear people just want one last hurray before they sink into what will look like a second lockdown.
In the city center, pubs and bars were at full capacity on Friday evenings – it was almost impossible to get a reservation at a restaurant.
The shisha cafes on the famous Curry Mile, a nickname for part of Wilmslow Road in south Manchester, were as busy as the Eid holidays.
Businesses here are thriving, but at 10 p.m. the house lights are on, the music is off, and people are herded off like sheep.
But then you hear questions like “where are we going now?” And “what will we do next?” ”
People are walking aimlessly in the streets trying to decide on their next move, after all for a Friday night is still young.
On the Curry Mile, traffic was bumper to bumper as hundreds of cars left at once.
A group of women told us, “We had to do this tonight or we wouldn’t see each other for weeks. ”
A man who just left a dessert salon told us, “Everyone knows these places are going to be completely closed next week, so this weekend is going to be bananas. ”
The sites have measures in place, QR registration codes are everywhere, but people don’t seem to be really concerned about the virus.
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Social distancing is almost non-existent and very few wear masks in and out of these places.
“I’m not as worried as the first time, I don’t need to be,” one person told us.
And while some businesses are losing out on the custom because of the 10pm curfew, many are still incredibly happy because it’s so busy – they too want to get so much money in checkouts before they close completely, for whom. know how long?
It’s hard to blame anyone here, what people are doing is not illegal, they are not breaking the rules by going out for food, drink and shisha – but while it is all happening. passes, the virus is spreading across the north of England, particularly in Manchester, and it is again putting people in hospital.
It is the concern here and it is one of the main reasons the government must act next week.