Pub operators and Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham have released a joint statement calling on the public to “accept their role” in abiding by local lockdown measures in Greater Manchester.

Signed by Admiral Taverns, Greene King, Hydes, Joseph Holt Brewery, JW Lees, Marston’s, Punch Pubs & Co., Robinsons Brewery, Star Pubs & Bars and Stonegate Pub Company, the companies it was in “everyone’s best interests” that the trade, political leadership and public work together to restrict the virus.

The message was backed by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who said that while the majority of pub operators were complying with government guidelines, they were being let down by the minority “who are not taking the regulations seriously”.

He said: “I am happy to support the sector but we do need the whole industry to step up.”

Burnham also called for the public to respect the guidelines within pubs, as the joint statement attempted to emphasise the individual responsibility of customers, as well as pub operators.

The unified joint statement follows exasperation within the sector over Burnham’s public comments last weekend, where he said pubs were one the main spaces were the virus spreads.

It also follows a Sky News investigation which claimed to show one in 10 pubs the broadcaster visited were not following guidelines, leading to a strong rebuttal from regional sector leaders in MCA that the report was not representative of the majority in the trade.

The pub companies wrote: “The covid-19 pandemic has given us all a new set of responsibilities. They are responsibilities that we all take incredibly seriously and we know that we all have an important role to play in ensuring the virus is controlled in Greater Manchester and beyond.”

“It is vital that the trade and all industry stakeholders continue to follow the Government guidance on measures to restrict the spread and keep venues safe. In particular we continue to support the track and trace measures in collecting customer details every time that they visit a pub wherever possible.”

“We also call on the public to accept their role here too, working with pubs, bars and restaurants in following guidance put in place, respecting staff and providing their contact details in support of track and trace. It is in everyone’s best interests that we continue to act responsibly and restrict the virus wherever we can.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester said: “I have called for the safe return of the pub and hospitality industry and I welcome the fact that the majority are complying with all the Government Guidelines, but the majority are being let down by the minority who are not taking the regulations seriously. I am happy to support the sector but we do need the whole industry to step up.

“I am also asking the public to continue to follow the guidelines that are in place to keep them safe. Most people are doing so, but some are not and I urge those people to think twice. If you get Coronavirus, you may not know, and spread the infection further in your home and your community.

“We are all adjusting to a new situation, and I know it is difficult, but now is not the time to give up. We must all work to reduce the rates of infection within our city-region.”

Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, added: “The public must play their part in helping to stop the spread of Coronavirus. It is on us to respect social distancing, track and trace and all of the measures that are in place to keep us safe. While some may feel that they aren’t in the ‘at risk’ age group, it is their family and grandparents at home who they are putting at risk and I urge them to consider that when planning a night out with large groups.”

“The majority of venues are working extremely hard to keep customers and staff safe, and I thank them for that. It is only by working together that we can overcome this devastating time for the sector.”

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