Covid lockdown: pubs busy as Britons take advantage of first Friday since rules eased

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??  Licensed from London News Pictures.  04/16/2021.  London, UK.  Members of the public dance to the music of a speaker in Leicester Square, central London.  Earlier this week, lockdown restrictions were relaxed to allow non-essential stores and outdoor restaurants to reopen.  Photo credit: Marcin Nowak / LNP



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Pubs across the country are packed as Brits make the most of their first weekend of freedom (Photo: North News and Pictures / AFP / Snapper SK)

There were messy scenes on Friday night as the merry Brits made the most of their first weekend of freedom since the lockdown was eased.

Millions of people flocked to their favorite locale on what has been dubbed “Fab Friday”.

The nation is expected to spill five million pints and 500,000 bottles of wine tonight as pubs across England prepare for the biggest night in six months,

Experts predict the spending frenzy could fill the depleted hotel industry’s coffers to the tune of £ 100million.

All over England, revelers have shown their joy at being able to enjoy an evening by taking to the streets.

People have been seen dancing in Leicester Square after an alcoholic brought in huge loudspeakers to entertain the crowd.

Hundreds of people also flocked to nearby Soho, which has been pedestrianized to create more outdoor space to allow pubs and restaurants to reopen.

While there were generally good spirits everywhere, the footage showed the police making arrests.

The revelers clashed in Soho as an argument allegedly erupted over table reservations, according to the Daily Mail.

Police have warned they will step up patrols in busy areas to make sure there is no problem and people respect social distancing.

London’s Soho looks busy on the first Friday outside lockdown (Photo: Reuters)
People dance to the music of a speaker in Leicester Square, central London (Photo: LNP)
Police arrest man following argument in Soho neighborhood
There was a heavy police presence with police pictured making arrests in Soho (Photo: Reuters)
Police arrest man after argument in Soho
Rows have reportedly erupted over table reservations (Photo: Reuters)

Some people looked worse for wear after a day of drinking.

Many lined up early in the morning to secure a coveted reservation amid limited capacity due to the outside rule.

A two-hour queue formed at Quayside Wetherspoons in Newcastle earlier in the evening.

A massive queue has also formed outside Wetherspoon’s King and Castle pub in Windsor.

Elsewhere, hundreds of people flocked to the open-air bars and restaurants of Manchester’s North Quarter and London’s Borough Market.

Members of the public dance to the music of a speaker in Leicester Square,
A boozer brought in speakers to entertain the crowds in Leicester Square (Photo: LNP Pictures)
People sit at tables outside to eat and drink in reopened bars and restaurants
People enjoy outdoor food and drink in Soho (Photo: AFP)
People line up outside Wetherspoon's, King and Castle pub in Windsor
People line up outside Wetherspoon’s, King and Castle pub in Windsor (Photo: PA)
Police officers stand on the street next to people sitting on a bar terrace in Soho
Police said they would patrol busy areas (Photo: Reuters)

Already this week, Brits have warmed up to return to their beloved boozers, with some pictured sitting in the snow enjoying their first freshly poured pint in months.

Under current rules, people must remain seated outside while eating and drinking and are limited to groups of up to six people or two households at most.

People sit on the terrace of a bar
The British are set to cut half a million pints tonight (Photo: Reuters)
Metropolitan Police patrol as people party in Soho District
There were messy scenes with many busy streets filled with rubbish (Photo: Reuters)
First Friday night since the lockdown at Newcastle was lifted
Friends from Newcastle have al fresco drinks on the first Friday of the pubs opening (Photo: North News and Pictures)
People browse the menu while queuing outside a pub
‘Fab Friday’ could raise £ 100million for the hospitality industry (Photo: REUTERS)
People line up outside Wetherspoon's, King and Castle pub in Windsor
A massive queue winds past a Wetherspoons in Windsor (Photo: PA)

A number of local authorities have brought back Covid marshals to help enforce social distancing rules as excited Britons return to the streets.

Police forces also reminded people to be vigilant.

Newcastle Police said: ‘Our officers are across town tonight to help you have a safe and fantastic time, reuniting with family and friends. Don’t forget your keys, money, phone and coat to take you home! Don’t forget to say hello to the team! ‘

Met Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Police Jane Connors said: “I must stress that we remain in a public health crisis and that gathering in large numbers presents a real risk of transmission of Covid-19.

Police patrol as people party in Soho
Police patrol as people party in Soho (Photo: Reuters)
People sit on the terrace of a pub in Leadenhall Market
A busy Leadenhall market in London (Photo: Reuters)
First Friday night since the lockdown at Newcastle was lifted
The scenes were cheerful in pubs across the country (Photo: North News & Pictures)
    A policeman answers his radio on a busy street in Old Compton in Soho
The British are expected to come out by the thousands (Photo: Getty)
Joyful scenes on the terrace of a bar in Soho
Happy scenes on the terrace of a bar in Soho (Photo: Reuters)

“Although the restrictions have recently eased, one only has to look at what is happening in parts of Europe right now and our own recent experience to see how quickly things can change. “

The happy scenes come amid promising data about the virus slowing down in the UK.

Infection levels are at their lowest since the fall, R levels have fallen to 0.7 and one in six adults has now received both doses of the vaccine.

But people are urged to remain vigilant amid fears that new variants could jeopardize the roadmap out of lockdown.

Contact our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check out our news page.

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