Action has been taken against two Manchester venues which failed to uphold proper practices to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Manzil banqueting hall and restaurant in Bury New Road, Cheetham, has been closed until further notice after environmental health officers who visited the premises found it hosting a post-wedding function attended by up to 65 people including children. Different households were mixing together with no social distancing, including huddling together for photographs, and there was no attempt by staff to manage their behaviour.
Consideration was given to enforcement measures stopping short of full closure but the lack of understanding of the risks involved and the need for Covid-secure practices meant that only full closure was considered appropriate.
The Irish World Heritage Centre in Irishtown Way, Cheetham, has been barred from hosting functions until further notice and ordered not to have DJs, live bands or other live music performances. Any recorded music played must be kept at background level.
This follows visits from officers in which groups of males were observed dancing, groups congregating and music being played so loud that normal conversation was impossible. Around 80 people were also witnessed having a sit down meal with no social distancing involved.
David Regan, Director of Public Health for Manchester, said: “Manchester’s coronavirus infection rates are rising and community transmission is driving this. Hospitality settings, where not managed properly, have the potential to contribute significantly to this spread. That’s why all premises have an urgent responsibility to ensure both that they have safe practices in place and that these are properly managed.”
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Gatherings between different households are simply not allowed in Manchester at the moment. We have one of the higher rates of Covid-19 infection in the country and the extra restrictions which are in place are there for a reason - to stop the spread of the virus.
“Many hospitality businesses are doing a sterling job of keeping customers safe but as these cases show we will take swift action where this is not the case.”
Council officers will be working with both venues to help them improve their Covid-19 safety arrangements and future compliance.