ENTERTAINMENT

Toon barmy: Revelers hug and kiss in the streets of Newcastle despite coronavirus fears


The streets of Newcastle were filled with night owls hugging, kissing and singing on Tuesday night, although fear of the coronavirus increased.

Last week, the northeast recorded the highest weekly death toll since June, and the region has the second highest infection rate in the country – 1,462 cases per 100,000.

Despite these concerns, Tuesday night footage shows a crowd singing and dancing outside a venue in Gray's Court just before the 10 p.m. curfew

The owners of the nearby Grays Club said people didn't gather until after leaving the venue when it started raining.

But witnesses claimed the rules designed to save lives and contain the spread of the virus had been blatantly ignored.

The appalled local who took the footage said that while helping people enjoy a "safe and responsible evening," he was appalled to see a crowd this size.

He said, “People have to make sacrifices at this time of year when they see family and friends.

"My blood is really boiled."

The alley leads to the Grays Club, which was reopened at the end of August for "socially distant events".

A spokesman for the Ladhar Group, which runs the club, said the incident occurred at the end of an event held at Grey's Club.

He added: “The event itself was successful and without any problems and fully complied with Covid-19 regulations and guidelines.

& # 39; Unfortunately, by the time customers were leaving the event, it appears to have been raining heavily.

Since there were no taxis available in the immediate vicinity, some people gathered under the archway at the entrance to avoid getting wet.

A Newcastle local who filmed revelers singing and dancing at Grays Court on Tuesday night said the sight got his blood boiling. However, operators of a nearby venue said the group only gathered under cover when it rained

The Grey's Club, which has distanced itself from the footage, has decided to temporarily close Newcastle City Council

Grey & # 39; s Club, which has distanced itself from the footage, has decided to voluntarily close temporarily, Newcastle City Council announced

Northumbria Police said the scenes were "disappointing" and supported the local authority on "engagement and enforcement".

Northumbria police said the scenes were "disappointing" and supported the local authority on "engagement and enforcement".

It appears that the group that gathered was around for about 10 minutes.

& # 39; The footage we saw identified a serious problem with crowd dispersal.

& # 39; We take our Covid security obligations very seriously and do not want to repeat this.

With that in mind, we are in the process of updating our risk assessments and guidelines to target customers who may congregate at the entrance.

& # 39; It is not our intention to host any further events at the Grays Club until these changes are made and agreed with officials from the Newcastle City Licensing Authority and Public Health.

"As a responsible operator, it is disappointing to have this problem."

The Ladhar Group is a major operator of licensed venues in Newcastle city center.

& # 39; We reopened many of our venues after the lockdown in early July to help secure jobs and support the economy and have not had any issues with these venues since.

& # 39; As a company, we are 100% committed to the safety of our customers and other users of the city center during this difficult time, and we are confident that this "one-off" problem will not undermine our track record in this regard. & # 39;

On the Wednesday evening before the 10 p.m. curfew, the night owls were back on the streets of Newcastle

On the Wednesday evening before the 10 p.m. curfew, the night owls were back on the streets of Newcastle

We licked it: locals pushed the coronavirus into the background while enjoying an evening

We licked it: locals pushed the coronavirus into the background while enjoying an evening

Mind you, you won't catch a cold: Revelers - as is customary on the streets of Newcastle - ignore the cool wind and enjoy themselves

Mind you, you won't catch a cold: Revelers – as is customary on the streets of Newcastle – ignore the cool wind and enjoy themselves

A spokesman for Newcastle City Council said: “The only way for everyone to continue enjoying our great pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants is to demonstrate social responsibility.

“This means taking sensible steps along the way, being careful about how much you drink, and remembering that your actions – or lack of them – can have serious repercussions on the entire community, including vulnerable family members and friends.

“Scenes like the one filmed at the entrance to Grey's Club near Gray Street are not appropriate and we are sure everyone who has been there knows that.

“Please make sure you enjoy our vibrant nighttime economy for sure, but remember that no one, regardless of age, is bulletproof and we must continue to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this potentially life-changing, if not fatal, virus.

& # 39; We speak to the licensed dealers and have provided advice, guidance and assistance while doing routine inspections to monitor compliance with the new rules.

"But wherever we get reports of potential problems – like these videos – we will investigate and ensure that appropriate Covid safety precautions are in place."

& # 39; In this case, we are happy to say that after speaking to the operators of Grey's Club near Gray Street, they are volunteering to temporarily close while they are actively working with us to resolve issues with Customers who leave their premises respond positively and better keep everyone safe. '

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “All the scenes in which people gather on the street are very disappointing.

“Everyone has a role to play to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

& # 39; We have dedicated patrol teams who deal with violations, with everyone ignoring the rules by which to expect enforcement action.

"We will continue to support our local government partners in their engagement and corporate enforcement activities."