Chaos in Liverpool as crowds spark huge street party on eve of tier 3 lockdown

There were chaotic scenes in Liverpool late last night and in the early hours of today as hordes of young people raved on the streets.

On the eve of tier 3 restrictions descending on the coronavirus-hit city, revellers took over the street, dancing and singing while seemingly attacking a police car as officers showed up the impromptu, rule-breaking gathering.

Mere hours before the region entered the most severe tier of local lockdown, a huge street party scene erupted with one clip posted to Snapchat Map reading "Herd immunity here we come".

An unnamed person who filmed the scene from an upstairs flat, told the Liverpool Echo it was "one of the most horrible sights that I’ve witnessed". 

They said: "A large group of young partygoers who were defying every single social distancing rule imaginable attacked a police car on Concert Square.

"This event had a particularly big impact on me because it made clear that this second lockdown that Liverpool will find itself in from tomorrow will have the potential to unleash a very dangerous wave of riots and uprising of people that don’t believe in coronavirus restrictions.  

"This video might just be the start," they added. 

In another video, ravers can be heard singing along to 1961 pop hit 'Hey! Baby!' by Bruce Channel after moving out of bars and pubs from 10pm. 

While some footage appears to show partygoers attacking a police car as it moved through the crowd on the cobbles around Concert Square. 

The Liverpool City Region has agreed to sign up to Tier 3 restrictions, banning household mixing indoors and closing pubs unless they can operate as restaurants from Wednesday.

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One video, taken from a flat above the party area, showed dozens of people blocking the streets as a police car attempted to move through them. 

In some footage people can be seen hugging each other and jumping around as police officers move them on from the area.

Announcing the restrictions on Monday, the Government said about 40% of all cases in England were in the north-west of the country.

Liverpool and its surrounding areas have recorded more than 1,000 new cases per day of late, figures showed earlier this week. 

Areas in the top tier will be able to impose extra restrictions, and in Liverpool City Region this will mean the closure of leisure centres, gyms, betting shops and casinos. 

The measures came into effect from midnight and will be reviewed every 28 days.

Prior to Boris Johnson announcing the new simplified three-tier system in the Commons, Liverpool's leaders announced they had been informed their region would be going into the 'very high' category.

But, in a joint statement, they added that a wider economic support package had still not been agreed, and they also want a clear exit strategy from Tier 3 measures.

The Liverpool region includes the city, Knowsley, Wirral, Sefton, St Helen's and Halton.

People in Tier 3 areas will still be allowed to meet friends and family in groups of up to six if they do so in a "public outdoor place" – as long as they didn't have to pay to get in.

This includes parks, open country, footpaths and highways.

Tier 3 residents will also be specifically allowed to meet in groups of up to six in "outdoor sports grounds or sports facilities", "botanical gardens", and "gardens or grounds of a castle, stately home or historic house."

What's more, the Tory exemption to the 'rule of six' for grouse shooting has made it into the new three-tier system.

Merseyside leaders have hit back at suggestions they "kowtowed" to the Government as they prepare for strict restrictions to be brought in.

At an online press conference on Tuesday, the leaders of the six authorities in Liverpool City Region and metro mayor Steve Rotheram said they were continuing to negotiate with the Government for a better funding package to support businesses which will be forced to close.

The PM told a Downing Street press conference on Monday that the Government had "agreed" with Mr Rotheram to introduce some of the restrictions.

But Mr Rotheram referred to the "sheer chuztzpah" of the Prime Minister for naming local leaders when "all of our lives we've been doing everything that we possibly can to prevent the Prime Minister and his ilk from gaining power".

More than 75,000 people have signed a petition to prevent gyms being closed under new lockdown measures which come into force in Liverpool on Wednesday.

However, Labour's Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has distanced himself from the gym move, saying it was a "Government decision not ours".

"Me on Saturday to No 10 officials 'Gyms are safer than supermarkets, more COVID-19 transmissions come from our schools and retail than Gyms'," he tweeted.

"Response 'we are not closing schools or restricting retail, so we can only go for Hospitality & leisure."'

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