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Huge queues at Trafford Centre as shoppers wait in the rain for an hour to get in yesterday

Did you head down yesterday?

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Connor Clarke / Twitter

In typical Manchester fashion, yesterday’s Bank Holiday Monday was an absolute washout.

This didn’t stop people from heading out to do a bit of shopping, however, with huge queues seen at the Trafford Centre.

According to reports, shoppers queued for an hour to get into the shopping centre, with some people forced to wait in the rain.

While signs in the car park were put up to let people know the centre was ‘full’, shoppers still headed in, with one saying social distancing wasn’t being observed.

Meanwhile the Trafford Centre responded by saying that customer safety is its ‘highest priority’, adding that ‘strict capacity limits’ are observed inside the shopping centre.

20-year-old Connor Clarke from Trafford told the Manchester Evening News: “We were standing in the queue in the rain for about an hour, it was just not moving.

“There was no distancing whatsoever, a lot of people weren’t wearing masks. I can understand it’s obviously outside, and it’s a well ventilated area.”

According to Connor people who were queuing were eventually allowed in, he added: “I think they just gave up and let everybody in.”

Zoe Inman, centre director at the Trafford Centre, told the MEN: “Our highest priority is to keep people wishing to enter the centre safe at all times. We have strict capacity limits and social distancing measures in place to keep everyone safe.

“We have advised visitors to plan their trip carefully and check our website for store opening information and current COVID-19 restrictions in advance.

“Highlighting that at busier times, such as weekends and Bank Holidays, they may have to queue to get in – and should come prepared for the weather.

“Face coverings are mandatory and must be worn when entering the centre, in stores and when walking throughout the malls, unless exempt.”

She added: “Bank Holidays are always popular at the centre, and this weekend is no exception.

“Our security staff are committed to making sure all the safety measures remain in place, like capacity limits, hand sanitisation stations, mandatory mask wearing and enforced social distancing.

“On occasion, this weekend we have been at capacity and customers have had to wait to enter the centre. We thank everyone for their patience and consideration whilst doing so.

“I am proud of our dedicated on-site teams working tirelessly to ensure the safety of all our visitors across a very busy and blustery Bank Holiday weekend.”

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Morrisons becomes first supermarket to cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff who have to isolate

Morrisons has become the latest retailer to announce the controversial policy

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Jim Barton / Geograph & @morrisons / Instagram

Morrisons has confirmed it has cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff members who have to self-isolate after being exposed to Covid.

Following Ikea’s decision to lower the sick pay rate for unvaccinated staff members last week, the supermarket chain has made a similar announcement as their staff absences continue to rise.

Much like those employed by the Swedish furniture retailer, unjabbed Morrisons workers – who usually get paid at least £10 an hour – will now get statutory sick pay of £96.35 a week if they are told to isolate but test negative.

@morrisons / Instagram

Covid-positive staff will get full sick pay regardless of vaccination status, however.

According to The Guardian, Morrisons executive Dave Potts first mentioned the policy in a conference call with investors in September 2021 as part of a plan to tackle the ‘biblical costs’ of dealing with the Covid pandemic.

Potts said Morrison’s had been on the ‘front foot’ in helping workers stay safe during the pandemic, saying: “We are normalising some of those policies.”

The newspaper reported that this move was the supermarket’s way of encouraging their staff to take the vaccine.

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The requirement for fully-vaccinated people to isolate when exposed to Covid was dropped in England in August, meaning unvaccinated workers were more likely to take time off than their vaccinated colleagues as a Covid contact.

And just one week ago, the health secretary announced that the Covid isolation period had been reduced from seven days to five.

Sajid Javid revealed the move in a Commons statement to MPs last week, citing data from the UK Health Security Agency and saying: “Two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five.”

This means people will be able to leave isolation if they test negative on days five and six regardless of vaccination status.

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Aldi shoppers claim new 69p tea is ‘better than sleeping pills’ as well as helping with anxiety

The tea has been praised by a number of sleep-deprived Aldi customers

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Debbie Blayney / Facebook

Insomniacs, rejoice; Aldi customers have been hailing one of the supermarket’s teas as ‘better than sleeping pills’.

And, better yet, a box of the tea itself costs just 69p for twenty teabags.

Aldi’s Diplomat Night Time tea was brought to the attention of fans of the budget supermarket in the Aldi UK Shoppers Facebook group courtesy of a shopper called Debbie.

Debbie Blayney / Facebook

Debbie shared a photo of the tea, which is passionfruit flower, camomile and apple flavoured, and revealed that she was trying it for the first time ‘to see if it works’. 

Debbie’s post was inundated with comments from other satisfied customers, with one writing: “I tried for the first time last night and slept so well!!

“It could of [sic] been the 16,000 steps I did as well and my lavender pillow mist spray or just being knackered. It tasted lovely and would highly recommend it.”

Another even said the tea helped with their anxiety, writing: “I’ve been taking the sleep one since 2 days ago and honestly it works better than sleeping pills and also works on my anxiety levels so I drink a cup here and then during the day…. And the taste is lovely too!!”

Debbie Blayney / Facebook

Sadly, Debbie didn’t quite get the experience she was hoping for with the tea, saying in a follow up post that while it made her feel more relaxed, it made her ‘want to wee twice’. 

Another person agreed that while the tea tastes lovely, it didn’t have the desired knock-out effect they’d hoped for, writing: “Soooo tired this morning. But I will give it the benefit of doubt and stick with it!

“I will either be a walking zombie by next weekend or I will be full of beans! Time will tell! On a plus note, it tastes lovely!”

Visit the Aldi website for more information on the tea.

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Shocking footage emerges of mass brawl involving ‘100 school kids’ in Piccadilly Gardens McDonald’s

Footage of the incident shows a teenager been dragged along the floor

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Ardfern & Ilovetheeu / Wikimedia Commons

New footage has emerged showing the dramatic moment a mass brawl involving ‘100 school kids’ broke out in the Piccadilly Gardens McDonald’s. 

At around 5pm on Friday evening (January 14th), a large group of teenagers descended upon the fast food restaurant and began fighting, causing crowds to gather and security and police to intervene.

Two of the teenagers had seemingly started fighting in the restaurant, which ultimately encouraged the crowd to gather and join in.

The shocking brawl was caught on camera, with the footage showing one person being dragged across the floor, while others screamed and fell among the crowds.

Marcon

Police attended the scene and arrested a sixteen-year-old, who has since been released under investigation. 

A dispersal order – giving police the power to disperse crowds and individuals from an area to prevent public nuisance – was put in place around Piccadilly Gardens until last night.

In a statement over the weekend, GMP said: “Police were called to Piccadilly Gardens at 5pm last night, Friday, to reports of a disturbance, involving a large number of young people.

“Officers attended, and found that a group of around 100 young people, mostly school children, were involved in fighting.

“During the incident, a number of missiles were thrown at officers, and some police equipment has been damaged beyond repair.

“A sixteen-year-old was arrested on suspicion of affray and has been released under investigation.”

Supt Critchley added: “This kind of anti-social behaviour, which caused a huge amount of disruption for members of the public trying to get home on a Friday, as well as businesses, will not be tolerated.

“I acknowledge that a lot of those involved last night are young, and may have been easily swept up in what was happening, however due to the disruption caused, we will be working to identify all those involved using CCTV as well as officer’s body worn video footage, and hold them accountable.

“It’s worth noting that a number of those involved were wearing school uniform at the time.

“If you or anyone you know may have seen anything that could help with our enquiries, or have CCTV or dash-cam footage of the area at the time, please get in touch with police.”

Anyone with information can contact GMP via their website or by calling 101, quoting log number 2054 of 14/01/22.

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