The streets of Newcastle were filled with revelers kissing, kissing and singing on Tuesday night, despite growing fears over the coronavirus.
Last week, the Northeast recorded its highest weekly death rate since June, and the region has the second highest infection rate in the country – 1,462 cases per 100,000.
Despite those concerns, footage from Tuesday night shows a crowd huddled together, singing and dancing outside a venue in Grays Court, just before the 10pm curfew.
The owners of the nearby Grays Club said people did not gather until they left the premises as it had started to rain.
But witnesses said the rules, designed to save lives and curb the spread of the virus, were blatantly ignored.
The dismayed local who captured the footage said that if he supported people enjoying a “safe and responsible night” he was horrified to see a crowd of this size.
He said: “People have to sacrifice themselves to see their family and friends at this time of year.
“My blood is well and truly boiled.
The alley leads to the Grays Club, which reopened for “socially distant events” at the end of August.
A spokesperson for the Ladhar group, which runs the club, said the incident happened at the end of an event that took place at Grey’s Club.
He added: “The event itself went smoothly and successfully and was fully compliant with Covid-19 regulations and guidelines.
“Unfortunately, it seemed as the customers left the event there was a heavy downpour of rain.
As there were no taxis available in the immediate vicinity, a number of people gathered under the arch at the entrance to avoid getting wet.
A Newcastle resident who filmed revelers singing and dancing at Grays Court on Tuesday night said the sight left his blood boiling – but operators at a nearby location say the group only met at the shelter because it was raining.
Grey’s Club, which has distanced itself from the footage, has decided to close voluntarily, on a temporary basis, Newcastle City Council has announced
Northumbria Police said scenes were ‘disappointing’ and said they supported local authorities in ‘engagement and enforcement’
“It appears that the group of people assembling stayed nearby for about 10 minutes.
“The footage we saw identified a serious problem with crowd dispersal.
“We take our Covid safety obligations very seriously and this is not something we want to see happen again.
“With that in mind, we are in the process of updating our risk assessments and policies to respond to customers who may congregate at the gate.
“We have no plans to hold any further events at the Grays Club until these reviews have been made and agreed with those responsible for the Newcastle City Licensing Authority and Public Health.
“As a responsible operator, it is disappointing that this problem has arisen”.
Ladhar Group is a major operator of licensed sites in Newcastle city center.
“We reopened many of our sites after the lockdown in early July in order to save jobs and support the economy and have not had any issues with these sites since then.
“As a company, we are 100% committed to ensuring the safety of our customers and other downtown users during this difficult time and are confident that this ‘one-off’ issue will not compromise our record in this regard. ‘
The revelers were back in the streets of Newcastle on Wednesday evening before the 10pm curfew
We licked it: Locals put coronavirus deep in their minds as they enjoyed a night out
Be careful not to catch a cold: revelers – as is the case on the streets of Newcastle – ignore the cold wind and have fun
A spokesperson for Newcastle City Council said: “The only way everyone can continue to enjoy our great pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants is through social responsibility.
“It means taking smart action on the go, paying attention to how much you drink, and remembering that your actions – or lack thereof – could have a serious impact on the community at large, including family and friends.” vulnerable.
“Scenes like the ones filmed at the entrance to Grey’s Club, near Grey’s Street, are inappropriate and we’re sure everyone who was there knows that.
“Please safely enjoy our bustling nighttime economy, but remember that no one, regardless of age, is bulletproof and we must continue to do whatever we want. can to prevent the spread of this potentially fatal, even fatal virus.
“We speak to the licensed trade and have provided advice, guidance and support, while performing routine inspections to monitor compliance with the new rules.
“But wherever we receive reports of potential issues – such as these videos – we will investigate and seek to ensure that the appropriate Covid secure arrangements are in place.
“In this case, we are happy to say that after speaking with the operators of Grey’s Club, off Grey’s Street, they are to close voluntarily, temporarily, as they actively work with us to positively resolve the issues related to customers leaving their premises, in order to better keep everyone. sure.’
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “All the scenes of people gathering on the streets are very disappointing.
“Everyone has a role to play in helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“We have dedicated teams on patrol to remedy violations and where we see anyone choosing to ignore the rules they can expect.
“We will continue to support our local authority partners in their engagement and enforcement activities with businesses.