England on Saturday eased restrictions for pubs, restaurants and salons to reopen after three months of restrictions. Pubs were allowed to reopen from 6 am, while barber shops opened at midnight.
Numbers are limited, no one can 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.
Police chief was worried about the reopening of pubs that could fuel drunken and irresponsible behaviour, while hospitals have been warned to prepare for a New Year’s Eve-style weekend.
The Sun newspaper expects 15 million pints of beer (8.5 million litres) would be consumed on Saturday.
Rules were also relaxed for overnight stay and social distancing norms were relaxed for two households meeting in public.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been setting their own timetables for easing lockdown restrictions.
UK PM called Boris Johnson asked people to behave responsibly and respect social distancing regulations.
Britain has been the European country worst hit by the coronavirus, with more than 300,000 infections and an official death toll of 44,131. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has faced criticism from the opposition over its handling of the pandemic – including locking down later than some other parts of Europe.
The lockdown has crippled the UK economy taking it back by over 40 years.