Liverpool revellers condemned by Boris Johnson for partying in streets on eve of Tier 3 lockdown

Boris Johnson today criticised “irresponsible” revellers for risking infecting other people with Covid-19 after pictures of hundreds partying in the street in Liverpool on the eve of new Covid restrictions.

Downing Street urged people “very strongly” not to behave in a way which could pass on coronavirus.

Doctors, who risk their lives treating Covid patients in hospitals, have condemned the “disgusting” late night scenes as young people filled the streets ahead of the new coronavirus restrictions.

The Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said the pictures “shame our city”.

Responding to the footage, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “In terms of what were the actions of a minority of people, you would have to judge it as irresponsible in the sense that we should not be doing anything that risks putting others in danger of catching the virus.”

He stressed the rule of six and more restrictive measures in hotspot areas to stop mixing between households indoors and outdoors.

“That is for a reason, to prevent the spread of the virus,” he added.

“We would urge people very strongly not to do anything that would put others directly at risk of catching the virus at a time when we all need to work together to bring the transmission rate down.”

Merseyside Police said officers dispersed a large gathering in the Concert Square and Fleet Street area at 10pm as bars shut their doors for the final time ahead of new Tier 3 measures, which came into force today.

The city has seen a rapid rise in coronavirus infections, and intensive care capacity in its hospitals is reported to be over 90 per cent full, with patients making up an increasing proportion of patients.

Footage on social media showed large numbers of young people dancing in the street outside bars, and in one video a police car could be seen driving through a crowd while revellers banged their hands on the side of the vehicle.

Mr Anderson said: “These pictures shame our city, attacking our brave police officers is unacceptable.

Hundreds party on the streets of Liverpool ahead of Tier 3 lockdown

“Our health service is creaking, 300 in hospital and 30 people dead in week. Ignoring these facts is why we are in Tier 3 measures.”

A police spokesman said: “Officers were deployed to the area immediately and a large crowd was dispersed quickly and safely.

“All businesses in the area have now closed and the incident has been stood down.”

Liverpool and the neighbouring five boroughs which make up the city region are under Tier 3 coronavirus measures from today, which include the closure of bars, pubs which do not serve meals, gyms, betting shops and casinos.

Chief Superintendent Peter Costello said: “While we understand how the new rules…are frustrating for some, we would continue to advise everyone to abide by them – including keeping social distancing – for the safety of everyone.”

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Times Radio she was “saddened” by the pictures.

She said: “I grew up in Liverpool. I know it is a great city. But frankly it is irresponsible behaviour.

“We are trying to help the city… I’m sure the mayor may want to consider more (measures) while we are also providing financial support.”

City centre councillor Nick Small wrote on Twitter: “Idiots putting themselves, their friends, families and everyone else at risk, destroying jobs and our hospitality sector while they do it.”

Other parts of the city appeared quiet as bar staff pulled their final pints ahead of the 10pm curfew.

@nicholascecil

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