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Police called out to hundreds of house parties during Covid-19 lockdown

Footballers and showbusiness figures have joined in pleas for people in Greater Manchester to stay home.

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A sign of support for the NHS outside the Manchester Central Convention Centre (Martin Rickett/PA)

A sign of support for the NHS outside the Manchester Central Convention Centre (Martin Rickett/PA)

A sign of support for the NHS outside the Manchester Central Convention Centre (Martin Rickett/PA)

Police in Greater Manchester have been called out to nearly 500 house parties during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Between March 25 and April 7, officers also had to deal with 166 street parties, 122 group gatherings for sporting activities and 173 gatherings in parks.

The figures were released as Greater Manchester Police launched an appeal, involving various personalities in the region, urging people to stay at home over the forthcoming Easter weekend.

Among those sending homemade video messages were Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, his former team-mate Michael Carrick, Manchester City player Steph Houghton, Dan Brocklebank who plays vicar Billy in Coronation Street, and Happy Mondays singer Shaun Ryder.

The compilation also includes similar appeals from local key workers such as police officers and staff, a nurse and a teacher.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said: “We understand the desire people will have to spend time with family and friends over the Easter period.

“However it is vital that we follow the Government guidelines.

“We must do this to protect ourselves, our families, our communities and the NHS by preventing the spread of this highly contagious infection.

“I am incredibly grateful to all those who have provided their own homemade videos to lend their support to the #StayHomeSaveLives campaign because, as stressed by the Prime Minister, the single most important action we can take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to save lives.

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An oxygen point installed at the new temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital North West being built at Manchester Central conference centre (Sean Hansford/Manchester Evening News/PA)

An oxygen point installed at the new temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital North West being built at Manchester Central conference centre (Sean Hansford/Manchester Evening News/PA)

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An oxygen point installed at the new temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital North West being built at Manchester Central conference centre (Sean Hansford/Manchester Evening News/PA)

“I would encourage everyone to enjoy themselves at home with their loved ones but please don’t socialise beyond the immediate people that you live with.

“Please don’t participate in other social gatherings inside or outside, no matter how big or small.

“We are trying to engage, explain, and encourage everyone to follow the Government guidance.

“However where people do not comply with the guidelines, we will use the legislative powers.

“We hope that such actions will not be necessary and the public will work with us during this challenging time.”

PA