Blackpool crowds ignore Covid ‘last blast’ warning

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image captionPeople reported queues for attractions, gridlocked traffic and little social distancing in Blackpool on Saturday

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.css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Visitors have flocked to Blackpool despite police warning against having a “last blast” in the resort before tighter restrictions come into force.

People reported queues for attractions, heavy traffic, little social distancing and few people wearing masks indoors.

Lancashire will be subject to .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}tighter restrictions from Tuesday after significant increases in Covid-19 cases, but Blackpool is exempt.

Police had said they were preparing for large crowds over the weekend.

Gem Concannon, 36, from Northwich, Cheshire, said she had visited the resort on Saturday with her family.

She said: “It was heaving, hardly anyone was wearing masks or social distancing. It was shocking.

“I’ve never seen it that busy before.”

people on the promenade at Blackpool on Saturdayimage copyrightPA Media
image captionPolice had said they were preparing for large crowds in Blackpool over the weekend

On Friday, Lancashire Police deputy chief constable Terry Woods appealed for people not to have one “last blast” before the restrictions come into place.

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‘Respect the rules’

He said: “Going to Blackpool this weekend if you’re not from [there] and mingling in any large crowds – that wouldn’t be looking after your family.

“Make sensible decisions to protect yourselves, going to Blackpool in mass numbers is quite the opposite of protecting yourselves.”

Blackpool’s director of public health Dr Arif Rajpura said: “It is absolutely critical that residents and businesses adhere to the new ‘rule of six’ restrictions and follow all Covid guidelines around social distancing and wearing of face coverings.

“The same advice goes to those visiting our resort. The only way to stop the spread of the virus is to respect the rules which are there for a reason.”

The new restrictions across other parts of Lancashire ban households from meeting each other at home or in private gardens.

Pubs and restaurants must also shut at 22:00 BST.

Infection rates in Blackpool are lower than in some parts of the county but the area has seen an increase in positive cases.

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