Massive crowds of Londoners relinquishing in their first night out at the pub in more than three months have been caught on camera ignoring social distancing rules.
Residents can bee seen dancing and hugging in the streets as police try to monitor the revellers.
Pubs, restaurants and hair salons opened on Saturday (local time) after a lengthy coronavirus lockdown.
Some bars started serving from 6 am, sparking worries of over-indulgence on what the media dubbed a “Super Saturday” of restrictions being eased.
The Sun newspaper predicted that 8.5 million litres of beer would be sunk in England in just 24-hours.
“It’s beautiful just to get back and have a pint,” Jim Martin, a 56-year old carpenter enjoying a beer at The Holland Tringham pub in south London, said.
It opened at 8 a.m. and was about three quarters full by 11:20 a.m.
In the city of Chester, Bert Lockley told the Press Association news agency just how much he had been looking forward to this moment.
"I've missed this more than my missus when she left," he said as he sipped draught Guinness at The Shropshire Arms pub.
Prince William enjoys a pint
Prince William enjoyed a pint of cider at the Rose and Crown pub in the Norfolk village of Snettisham, near his Anmer Hall country estate, on Friday evening ahead of the latest lockdown easing measures coming into force.
"I'm a cider man," the Duke of Cambridge said as the media's cameras rolled for his special visit.
After ordering he sat outside in the pub's garden terrace, he was also filmed rubbing his hands with sanitiser.
Police chiefs are worried the reopening of pubs could fuel drunken and irresponsible behaviour, while hospitals have been warned to prepare for a New Year’s Eve-style weekend.
“There’s an element of decompression going on, particularly with younger people who’ve had some very responsible parents keeping them in over recent weeks,” Marc Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, told BBC radio.
Politicians have raised concerns that the reopening of pubs, in particular, could encourage people to ignore social distancing rules and lead to spikes in infections.
To mitigate the chance of outbreaks, all customers are required to give their contact details to allow tracing.
Orders are only allowed at tables, or by app, to prevent crowding at the bar.
Many pubs have removed tables to help customers keep distant from each other.
Scenes outside of pubs told a different story, with crowds ignoring social distancing and police called in to control rowdy crowds.
The joy of a haircut
Some hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight with men queuing for haircuts and busy hairdressing salons were a common sight across the country.
At Savvas Barbers in Streatham, south London, healthcare assistant Benjamin Prior, 31, said he normally gets a cut every month but has had to wait four months.
“It’s just brilliant to finally get a new haircut now, it’s the length I want, short as possible,” he said.
In another relaxation of lockdown rules, two households can now meet indoors as long as social distancing is maintained, and overnight stays are allowed.
with Reuters and AAP
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