"This blatant disregard for public health is totally unacceptable"
A Pakistani restaurant in Longsight, Manchester has been closed down for at least seven days for breaking Coronavirus lockdown rules.
This comes after police broke up a wedding attended by 70 guests.
In addition, the organiser was also fined £10,000 after repeatedly ignoring requests to stop the party.
Police have described the wedding as a “totally unacceptable” and a “blatant disregard for public health”.
Officers were called to reports of a large gathering at Sanam Sweet House and Restaurant on Stockport Road at 6:55 pm on September 24, 2020.
Under the current lockdown rules, wedding receptions are limited to a maximum of 15 people.
According to police, they asked the organiser to bring the party to a stop, however, it carried on and guests initially refused to leave.
A closure notice has now been authorised, meaning the restaurant will remain shut for at least seven days subject to review. A notice on the venue says it is closed for refurbishment.
Superintendent Chris Hill, of GMP’s City of Manchester division, said:
“This blatant disregard for public health is totally unacceptable and meant we had no alternative but to issue the maximum penalty for breaching the legislation on large gatherings.
“I hope this sends a clear message to both individuals and licensed premises that there is zero-tolerance for the organisation of these kinds of events without permission from the local authority, and we will respond in the necessary way to reports of such incidents.
“This is a challenging time for all of us but we have to ensure we are working together to reduce the risk posed by the spread of Covid-19 and while we thank the majority for continuing to do so, we will carry on enforcing the legislation where necessary against the minority who aren’t.”
Manchester Evening News reported that Longsight and North Levenshulme currently have Manchester’s highest Covid-19 infection rate.
In the seven days up to September 16, they were 40 new confirmed cases in the area, up from 16 just over a week earlier.
Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods for Manchester City Council, said:
“From the outset, we have understood how difficult the changing restrictions have been for premises and have worked with them to ensure that safety standards are in place.
“However, in this case, it was clear that immediate enforcement action had to be taken.”
“For so many people to be congregating in this manner flies in the face of every single public health message we have been making for more than six months.
“It is deeply concerning that the owner allowed such a reckless event to take place.
“As a council, we fully support the action taken by GMP and we will also take further action of our own to prevent this happening again.”