THE OWNER of a fish and chip shop has apologised after a photo of people sat outside his shop was shared thousands of times.

Market Fish Bar in Farnworth was heavily criticised on social media over the photo as the government urged people to stay inside.

Boss Sean O'Neill has now publicly apologised, calling it an "isolated incident".

He said: "The first job every day is to put the tables outside which I did this morning sort of without thinking.

"I deliberately spaced them well apart and it seems that one of the customers is having a drink and has pulled a chair up to another table, and a couple were walking past which makes it look much busier.

"I apologise for even thinking of putting these tables out, I'm sorry that it happened in the first place. I have spoken to the food hygiene manager at Bolton Council and she has given us some extra guidance to stay open."