In London, there was a small police presence on the streets of Soho last night, but no issues were reported.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick joined a patrol in Shoreditch, a trendy neighborhood in the east of the capital, to remind the public of the steps to be taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Scotland Yard plans to step up its enforcement of COVID regulations in the coming days and weeks, as infection rates in London continue to rise.
The big test for locals and the police will likely take place on Fridays and Saturdays, where more people are heading to pubs and bars.
The Met has said enforcement – which could include on-site fines – will only take place as a last resort, but warned officers “will not hesitate to use their powers to deal with egregious regulatory violations.” .
Assistant Deputy Commissioner Matt Twist said: “The vast majority of Londoners have played by the rules and have responded positively to the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in. We thank them for that.
“Over the past few months, we have continued to step in where needed to protect the public, even as the rules have loosened, with agents working hard to deal with difficult incidents such as musical events without licensed throughout the summer – sometimes faced with extreme hostility and even violence.
“However, it is clear that there is a renewed need for everyone to do whatever they can to minimize the risk of transmission of what is a potentially fatal disease – it means everyone is following the rules. ”
Wolverhampton Police posted a video on Twitter thanking the public for complying with the new regulations and said all sites had closed by 10 p.m.
However, the measurements in Wales are slightly different, as pub goers will have an extra 20 minutes to finish their drinks after the last orders at 10pm.
Curfew comes as UK reports 6,634 new coronavirus cases within 24 hours at 9 a.m. on Thursday – the highest daily total ever.
40 other people are believed to have died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19[feminine[feminine, show official figures. The last time the daily death toll exceeded 40 was on July 14, when 44 deaths were recorded.
Sky News correspondents in London and Birmingham were in the city center as 10pm approached to see how the curfew was being handled.
LONDON: “Overall, people were compliant”
By Ashna Hurynag, press correspondent
If anyone expected anger on the first night of the national curfew, they would be pleasantly surprised. Overall, people were compliant – and after initially flooding the streets when the clock struck 10 p.m., they dispersed into the night.
In Soho – the party district that promises a party of fun and celebration – law enforcement officers’ fluorescent vests and jackets stood out among revelers licking the last hours of social freedom at their food court favorite.
But just seconds after taking their last sip of drink, minutes before 10 p.m., halls were wiping down tables, stacking chairs, and pushing people out.
Bars and restaurants that made their way through a rough summer were eager to meet every letter of the new restrictions and do everything in their power to circumvent a hefty fine.
Accreditation inspectors, community guards and even the Metropolitan Police Commissioner were enforcing the new curfew.
Some Met agents walked door to door in the early evening to remind locals of the new departure time.
But they hardly needed to be checked, the sites were largely prepared for the early closure despite a few days’ notice.
Still, many are frustrated knowing how many millions of pounds will be lost during this six-month ban on nocturnal frivolity.
BIRMINGHAM: “At 10 pm, it was more like 4 am”
By Becky Johnson, Midlands Correspondent
At 10 p.m. Birmingham city center was strangely quiet.
Hurst Street pubs and bars called for the last orders at 9:30 p.m. By the official closing time, everyone had escaped.
On a street that usually has some of the busiest bars in town, it was more like 4am.
“That’s when people usually come in,” said one bar owner. “Students don’t usually go out before 10pm or 11pm. People just must have decided it wasn’t worth going out at all. “
:: Subscribe to the daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
It wasn’t more crowded in other parts of downtown.
“We usually do 40% of our trading after 10pm,” said the marketing director of Aluna, a cocktail bar in the mailbox. “It’s all gone.
A group of students criticized the new rule and its ability to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus.
“People will just risk the rules. The night will not end here. They will have parties, ”they said.
A “normal” Thursday night is a vague memory here, before the pandemic, when people thronged pubs and clubs.
“We did well” tonight, said a bar owner. “But okay, I mean we did 25% of the business we did on a normal Thursday. “
Many openly wonder if their business will survive six months from this.