The photo has gone viral on social media and has been shared over 1.7K times in under three hours.
Just a day into the UK nationwide lockdown amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a photo appearing to show a bustling chippy in the Greater Manchester borough of Bolton, has gone viral on social media.
The photo, shared on Facebook by Billy Bilel, shows members of the public allegedly crowded outside Market Fish Bar in Farnworth.
Given the government announcements of strict social distancing measures and effectively placing the UK into lockdown commencing today, the photo has understandably gone viral. It has amassed thousands of interactions, comments and shares in just under three hours since posting.
Farnworth right now ??!!Who are you to stand up and say no ? Think before you go out for fresh air,meeting friends or even opening your business!if you pass the disease recklessly, you are a murderer !Posted by Billy Bilel on Tuesday, 24 March 2020
As per the government announcement, all cafes and restaurants must shut to the public with immediate effect for the foreseeable future, with the exception of takeaway and food delivery services, meaning the chippy is permitted to stay open.
For takeaway premises remaining open, strict social distancing measures must be adhered to.
The government confirmed that: "People can continue to enter premises to access takeaway services", but stated that "people must not consume food or drinks on site at restaurants, cafes or pubs whilst waiting for takeaway food".
Owner of Market Fish Bar, Seán O'Neill, made the following statement:
I absolutely agree and the tables and chairs have been removed. I offer my sincere apologies in regards to this and promise to act more responsibly. The tables were initially spaced over 2 metres apart in line with safety guidelines but unfortunately one person moved her chair closer to sit nearer to her friends. She was immediately asked to move. We appreciate that by removing the tables, it will take away the temptation for people to do this."
It has been confirmed that all team members at Market Fish Bar have been briefed and will act more vigilantly in their practice going forward.