The myriad rules of life in Tier 2 of the government's coronavirus restrictions were blasted by businesses today, with pub owners saying they 'feel more like police than bar staff'.
Usually bustling city centre high streets were exceptionally quiet as shoppers, workers and drinkers shunned Manchester.
The Shambles Square - normally packed with afternoon drinkers - looked abandoned.
Car parks were also half-empty as many employees avoided the city commute in favour of working from home.
The lack of people coming into the city has had a devastating impact on the pub trade.
Wayne Crowsley, 54, owner of the Rovers Return, in Manchester, said: 'We are down probably around 40 per cent.
'When people come into the pub, we have to take their word that they are in the same bubble, household or are colleagues.
'That's all we can do unless the Government decides that people have to prove they are all from the same household.
'We shut promptly at 10pm and we are put under a lot of pressure to make sure people are abiding by the rules.
'Sometimes we feel more like police than bar staff.'
In Liverpool boozers are being asked to sign a disclaimer that they are from the same household after the city was thrown into a new lockdown.
Wayne Crowsey, landlord of Manchester's Rovers Return, said rules him feel like the police
Damien Brockway said he used to take 100 staff for a pint, but was now banned under Tier 2
A mask wearing Manchester resident on the city streets earlier today in the Tier 2 area
Shambles Square in Manchester is usually packed but was abandoned this lunchtime
A mural in Manchester today paying tribute to the NHS put up in the very quiet city centre
'When pubs became table service only, we stopped serving food because it was too labour intensive and employ too many staff.
'We look after our staff well and I think paying two thirds of the wages if we go into Tier 3 is fair.
'What I don't think is fair is the £3,000 businesses would receive.
'It is just a drop in the ocean when between £2,000 to £3,000 a week goes out in standing orders and that is on top of wages.
'We are in business to make money and losing 40 per cent can be the difference between making a profit or a loss.
'I am pleased Andy Burnham is standing up for Manchester but I think he is wrong about the two-week circuit breaker being nationwide.
'Focus on the areas where infection rates are high.'
'But I have to say Greater Manchester Police and Salford Council have been fantastic and given us a lot of support.'
Manchester has been deserted after the Government places it into Tier 2 of coronavirus rules
Andy Burnham had been dubbed 'The King in the North' for his stance against Westminster
Wayne continued: 'If we were forced to close, we'd be losing around £2,000 a week.
'For a few weeks we could stand that but if that continued it would be hard.
'I can see a lot of pubs and businesses not re-opening if they were forced to close.'
After introducing a new three tier scheme to classify areas with high infection rates on Monday, Liverpool was the only area to immediately fall into tier three and faced another lockdown of pubs, casinos, betting shops, and gyms.
On what would normally be a busy Friday afternoon for bars and pubs as revellers pile in, to enjoy their first drinks of the weekend, Liverpool city centre was almost lifeless.
Outdoor seating areas were deserted and inside the situation wasn't much better, with a maximum of half a dozen people sitting down for a meal with their drinks in any one place.
One pub manager told us that he had loved his career in hospitality for years - until now - adding that aggravation towards his staff from the general public had become almost unbearable.
Kyle Dottie, 33, Operations Manager at Mikhail Hotel and Leisure, which owns Punch Tarmey's Irish pub in the city's Baltic Triangle said: 'Our biggest headache is dealing with the general public.
'After lockdown we were smashing it, but after these new restrictions were imposed at the start of the week we are doing 10-20 per cent of our normal trade, but with the same staffing levels