Manchester city centre bar closed under new Covid powers

Viadux Bar in Manchester city centre has been closed for breaching coronavirus rules. Credit: Google Maps

A Manchester city centre bar has become the first to be closed for breaching Covid-19 social distancing rules.

Viadux in Albion Street was closed by the City Council yesterday morning until further notice, for "failing to implement appropriate social distancing controls".

The council said that licensing officers visited the bar on Saturday 8 August to find a DJ playing loud music with a "complete breakdown in social distancing by a crowd of people singing and chanting" with no attempts made, by staff at the venue, to manage it.

Council officers also found that seats were less than one metre apart.

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods for Manchester City Council, said: "This closure shows we will not hesitate to take action against venues which flout regulations put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 and protect the public. 

"The hospitality industry is hugely important to Manchester and we want to see it prosper - but not at the expense of risking public health."

Superintendent Chris Hill of Greater Manchester Police said: "I hope this serves as a warning to other pubs and bars that there will be more enforcement to come if they do not comply with the regulations."

The closure will be reviewed by the Council once every seven days.

Viadux have been approached for a comment.