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Fact check: Coronavirus restrictions not flouted “en masse” in Liverpool

Social media posts have claimed that some venues in Liverpool, UK, have opened “en masse” despite coronavirus measures that require them to be closed. Although some venues have broken the rules, the police and city council say it is not true that this has happened on a large scale.

A covid warning sign stands in the vicinity of the Royal Liver building, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Liverpool, Britain October 15, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble

The posts read: “SO THE PUBS, RESTAURANTS AND GYMS IN LIVERPOOL HAVE HAD ENOUGH AND OPENED EN MASSE, AND THE POLICE CAN’T CLOSE THEM...” (here) .

The Liverpool City Region is now under the highest strictest “third tier” of coronavirus-related restrictions.

Under Tier 3, pubs and bars must close unless they serve substantial meals like a main lunchtime or evening meal (here) . Restaurants can continue to operate but must close between the hours of 10pm to 5am.

Although gyms were initially asked to close, they have now been told they can reopen from Oct. 24 (here) .

There is no evidence that these venues have flouted the rules ‘en masse’.

A spokesperson for Merseyside Police told Reuters that officers have visited pubs, restaurants and gyms since legislation affecting how they should operate was introduced.

“The vast majority of gyms and pubs not selling substantial meals have closed in line with the legislation in the Liverpool City Region”, the spokesperson said.

“There have been a number of isolated cases where breaches of the legislation have been identified and we have taken enforcement action.”

A Liverpool City Council spokesperson called the level of compliance “very good” overall.

The council told Reuters that out of 527 venues visited, further action was only being considered against seven.

In Moreton, one gym received a fixed penalty notice and a fine of £1,000 for remaining open even after a police warning to close (here) .

VERDICT

False. While there have been some breaches in the Liverpool area, pubs, restaurants and gyms have not flouted coronavirus restrictions en masse.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here . 

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