Mayhem as crowds cram outside restaurants after 10pm coronavirus curfew

Groups of large crowds were spotted gathering outside restaurants in Bristol after the 10pm curfew.

Mobile phone footage shows at least a group of more than 30 people chatting by the pedestrian roads on Park Street.

The group does not appear to have followed the recommended social distancing rules while restaurants including the Transylvania Restaurant and the All in One bar are closing its doors.

It comes after concerns in Bristol and across the country over whether the curfew is causing mass street gatherings and the spread of coronavirus, according to Bristol Live.

Bristol is currently in Tier 1, or medium Covid Alert Level, meaning the rule of six remains in place for all other gatherings, whether it's indoors or outdoors.

Businesses selling food or drink, including bars, pubs and restaurants, can only serve customers indoors until 10pm. They can still operate takeaway and delivery services after 10pm.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said on October 7 the early closing time for pubs and restaurants in England was creating more problems than it was solving.

He said: "We are saying to Government we appreciate what they’re trying to do to stem the spread of Covid but there are a number of concerns.

"When venues are closed in a hard 10pm stop, they move from a Covid-secure environment to a Covid-insecure environment where there are crowds of people on the streets, so it could be you’re adding risk to that night-time economy.

"Along with that, police raised concerns that we are seeing what we used to see with an 11pm kick-out time years ago, when you had huge numbers of people coming onto the streets at the same time.

“You end up with social tensions and the confrontations that result from that and the pressures on the transport networks."

Bristol Association of Restaurants, Bars and Independent Establishments (BARBIE) spoke out against the curfew last month.

"It’s safer for people to be in venues than congregating in large crowds whether on the street, at house or illegal parties," said BARBIE co-founder Brendan Murphy.

The association described the curfew as "counter-intuitive" and a potential "final nail in the coffin" of the night-time economy.

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