• Monday, Aug 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 05:44 pm

Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopen as England's lockdown eases

  • Published at 08:34 am July 4th, 2020
England pub
Customers queue to buy takeaway beer from a pub, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues, in Brixton, London, Britain, June 22, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Customers might find the atmosphere inside the pubs rather different from the usual Saturday-night scrum

England takes its biggest steps yet towards resumption of normal life on Saturday as people are finally allowed to drink in a pub, get a haircut or have a meal in a restaurant for the first time in over three months.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said everybody had to behave responsibly and maintain social distancing to support businesses and not risk a second wave of the coronavirus.

Some hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight while pubs will be allowed to start serving from 0500 GMT on so-called “Super Saturday”, sparking worries of pent-up over-indulgence.

Johnson said his message was to “enjoy summer safely” and not undo the progress made in knocking back the pandemic.

He said workers in pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and other businesses had made an heroic effort to prepare for reopening.

“The success of these businesses, the livelihoods of those who rely on them, and ultimately the economic health of the whole country is dependent on every single one of us acting responsibly,” he said. “We must not let them down.”

Police said they were “absolutely prepared” for the pubs reopening.

But customers might find the atmosphere inside rather different from the usual Saturday-night scrum.

Numbers will be limited, no one will be allowed to stand at the bar and there will be no live music. Patrons will also have to give their details to allow tracers to identify them if anyone later tests positive.

JD Wetherspoon, one of the biggest chains, said it had invested 11 million pounds ($14 million) in safety measures.Most of its pubs in England will open at the usual time of 8am on Saturday. It is not taking bookings, but said at busy times numbers would be controlled by staff.

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