People have been warned to avoid any venues breaking lockdown rules ahead of a weekend that could see temperatures rise as high as 37C (98.6F) in Britain.
After additional lockdown laws were introduced in Manchester among other northern locations on Wednesday, Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, chastised venues that had reportedly broken the rules.
“Over the past week, I have heard of numerous pubs, bars and restaurants who have been squeezing customers in, flouting social distancing rules, ignoring contact tracing and actively persuading mixed groups not to cancel bookings,” he said.
“These venues clearly have a disregard for the safety of both their customers and their staff, and I support our Mayor Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Police in taking action over repeat breaches in these venues.
“It’s also crucial that the general public takes responsibility too. We must work together to show venues that we will not stand for those who break the rules.
“If you feel uncomfortable, or that an establishment does not have the right procedures in place, then I urge you to take your booking elsewhere.”
Mr Lord’s words of warning come after an outbreak at a bar in Aberdeen was confirmed to have led to dozens of positive tests.
New lockdown measures came into force at 5pm on Wednesday, forcing all pubs, bars and restaurants in the Aberdeen City Council area to again close their doors.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council meanwhile sent teams to visit three pubs as well as a city centre venue on Monday after reports of overcrowding in bars, a lack of social distancing and packed queues.
And with the Met Office predicting the warmer weather this week could reach a blistering 37C (98.6F) in some areas, and is expected to last until Sunday, there are fears venues could become overcrowded.
“As this week’s heatwave draws in, it seems unnatural not to be with our friends and go out, but we have seen a big spike in Covid-19 cases over the past few weeks in our region and the regulations are in place for a reason – to keep you safe,” Mr Lord continued.
“Disregarding social distancing not only puts yourself in danger, but also those you meet on your way home, at work, and those who live with you.”
Grace, 24, from Manchester, said that she will avoid bars and restaurants this weekend after visiting one pub recently.
“When we went in there was someone there that told us to sanitise our hands and fill in a tracing form and take a disposable menu,” she told the PA news agency.
“But they didn’t check if we were from the same household at all.
“In the room that we were in, I obviously don’t know for sure whether these people were in the same household or not, but to me five girls who arrive at different times and all get a pitcher of cocktail, doesn’t – to me – seem like they were all from the same household.
“As we were walking through the streets of Manchester obviously there are places that have outdoor seating, and it seemed to be a common theme where lots of people were coming up at different times to go for one table.
“I definitely wouldn’t go to a pub, a restaurant or a cafe this weekend.”