A video captured on Saturday evening showed punters spilling out onto city centre streets as the aftereffects of the pub curfew were seen for the first time on a busy weekend.
Since 24 September, the hospitality sector has been required to stop serving food and drink by law at 10pm.
Footage shot on Deansgate shows a mass exodus as punters are booted out of local bars on the weekend – resulting in streams of people piling out onto the streets either side of busy traffic.
The video, captioned “Deansgate at 10pm. Well done government”, shows crowds congregating outside the pubs and restaurants on one of Manchester’s busiest roads – some seemingly heading home; others lurking in the area.
A hubbub of whoops and laughs soundtrack the busy scene – with slow-moving traffic carefully weaving around those who are walking into the road.
Another photo also shows the huge queues waiting at the Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink stop.
Hospitality has accused the government of unfairly targeting the industry throughout the pandemic, with many businesses concerned they won’t be able to survive with truncated opening hours.
Manchester Nightlife Economy Adviser Sacha Lord called the new rules “shambolic”.
“It’s very clear, across the UK, that this ill thought out 10pm curfew, has pushed everyone out of venues with socially distanced measures, into the streets, into off licenses, supermarkets, over crowded public transport and house parties,” wrote the Parklife founder on Twitter.
“Every operator predicted this.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham called for an “urgent review” of the 10pm curfew, adding that it was doing “more harm than good as it creates an incentive to gather in the streets or at home.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, however, defended the measures on Sunday morning.
“There is definitely science behind it,” said the MP on The Andrew Marr Show.
“That’s why we’re requiring people to be seated in pubs and restaurants, so that stops the flow of them to and from the bar.”