Coronavirus crisis: Hundreds protest lockdown restrictions in Manchester – pictures

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On Thursday, the UK was plunged into a second national lockdown as cases of the deadly coronavirus continue to soar. But today, hundreds gathered in central Manchester to protest against the new restrictions.

It is believed the protest in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester began at around 1pm today and social media footage showed a few hundred people gathered.

While social distancing measures are still in place across the country, the footage showed very few people adhered to the rules.

One of the placards read: “Fear is the currency of control.”

In the footage, a man can be heard addressing a crowd saying: “Those 300-plus politicians that voted for the lockdown are treasonous.

“From this day forward, it will be for every single one of us to be brave.”

Others can be heard urging people to take off face masks.

The Greater Manchester Police urged people to comply to coronavirus restrictions and reminded people groups of more than two people are unlawful.

In a statement, they said: “Greater Manchester Police is aware of a large gathering in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester City Centre and officers are in attendance.

“Prior to this gathering, officers engaged with the organiser; explained the restrictions; and encouraged compliance and are continuing to do so.

“Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, a Section 34 Dispersal Order has been authorised for Manchester City Centre until 6.45pm today (Sunday 8 November 2020).

“This means members of the public must not gather in the area.

“Failure to comply is a criminal offence.

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“GMP would also like to use this opportunity to remind members of the public that, under the national COVID-19 restrictions, gatherings of more than two people are unlawful.

“We encourage people to comply with these restrictions, as we have throughout this public health crisis, to help keep themselves and others safe.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new coronavirus measures were approved by MPs by 516 votes to 38.

Under the new lockdown measures, people are being forced to stay at home unless they have a specific reason to leave such as work which cannot be done from home.

Meeting indoors or in private gardens is now be banned but individuals can meet one other person from another household outside in a public place.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential retail across the country have closed but takeaways remain open.

Entertainment venues including gyms have also been forced to close again.

The number of coronavirus patients who have died in UK hospitals has risen by 151 today.

Health authorities today announced the figure, which includes 122 deaths in England, 19 in Wales, three in Scotland and seven in Northern Ireland.

In the past 24 hours the number of confirmed cases passed 50 million, while the global death toll stands at around 1.25 million.

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