People have taken to twitter to say how excited they are for ‘Super Saturday’ for pubs to reopen, with some predicting that their favourite locals will be packed with drinkers keen to be back at a bar after over three months of lockdown.
Some have even likened their excitement to the pubs re-opening to Christmas Eve, which was seen trending on Twitter of Friday night.
However, people will have to wait a little longer after pubs have been forced to cancel post-midnight reopening events following a Government announcement that regulations enforcing their closure will remain in place until 6am.
Some landlords – including the pub chain BrewDog – had planned to reopen their venues in England as the clock ticked past midnight.
But several hours before they were due to welcome customers, No 10 said on Friday afternoon the ban would now remain in place until later on Saturday morning.
Pub owners and the Police Federation of England and Wales have since criticised the timing of the announcement.
With some pubs set to reopen from 6am on Saturday – depending on their license – a number of people have taken to Twitter to express their excitement at pubs reopening
Twitter users seem to be expecting an almost festival atmosphere on Saturday, joking that they expect to see large groups of people at pubs when they reopen, with one user sharing a picture of Glastonbury with the caption ‘Weatherspoons Beer Garden, Saturday’.
Another Twitter user shared a photograph from a Leeds supermarket, where a shelf that should have had packets of paracetamol was empty – suggesting people were getting prepared for Sunday hangovers.
Another user shared a picture of them with a drink at home, saying he was ‘stepping up his training’ ahead of Saturday, while others shared gifs and memes, comparing them to what they expect to see as the pubs open, likening the potential scenes to zombies.
Some users on Twitter even went as far to compare the excitement to the pubs opening on Saturday to the feeling on Christmas Eve.
‘Hair cut, pubs pending, feels very similar to Christmas Eve tonight’ one user wrote, while another wrote ‘Feels like Christmas eve, boozer see you at 12pm’, both suggesting they were quite excited at the prospect of being back in the pub.
However, not all users Twitter were too pleased with the comparison, sharing their exhilaration that people were likening going to the pubs during the coronavirus crisis to Christmas day.
Following the announcement that pubs could not have midnight opening parties, Adam Snowball, managing director of the Showtime sports bar in Huddersfield, said it was ‘massively disappointing’ to have to cancel his reopening event.
The 35-year-old said about 50 people had booked a table at his venue on Zetland Street, which would have remained open until 3.30am.
He told the PA news agency: ‘We only found about the changes this morning when we received a call from Kirklees Council’s licensing department.
Some pubs, such as the Showtime sports bar is Huddersfield (pictured above with Adam Snowball, the pub’s managing director), have had to cancel their midnight reopening events
As the lifting of further lockdown restrictions in England comes into effect on Saturday, landlords have been getting their pubs and bars ready to open for the first time since March 20. Above, manager Pat Fitzsimons cleaning the bar during final preparations at The Faltering Fullback pub in North London, ahead of its reopening
Above, Barman Michael Fitzsimons wears PPE while pouring a pint during final preparations at The Faltering Fullback pub in North London
‘To be honest, I don’t think the Government had thought about it (pubs reopening at midnight) until it was reported in the media that venues like ours would be.
‘It’s massively disappointing, but it does allow us to step off the gas a little bit.’
Mr Snowball said customers were being notified that the bar would not be open until 10am on Saturday.
Pub staff will likely have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when pubs reopen to protect from the potential spread of coronavirus. Pictured: Staff at BrewDog Tower Hill prepare to reopen tomorrow with social distancing measures in place
Pubs planning to open at midnight have now have to cancel their plans after the government announced they will have to remain closed until 6 am on Saturday, or until when their license allows them. Above: Staff at BrewDog in London prepare to reopen tomorrow, with tables separated with perspex to limit the potential spread of coronavirus
Pubs and bars are implementing measures to encourage social distancing and safe hygiene to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading as they reopen on Saturday. Above, Owner Are Kjetil Kolltveit from Norway places markers for social distancing on the front of the bar at the Chandos Arms pub in London
Meanwhile, a BrewDog spokeswoman said the chain had also been required to tell customers that its planned ticket-only events in Manchester, Newcastle and Shoreditch would no longer be going ahead.
John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said while he welcomed the decision to keep pubs shut until 6am, the timing of the announcement was ‘very unhelpful’.
He said: ‘I think the lastminute.com approach to this is very unhelpful to policing and adds even more pressure to what is an already difficult situation.’
Mr Apter said the federation, which represents thousands of rank and file officers, had ‘raised concerns’ about some pubs planning to open after midnight.
Some pubs have been required to train their staff on safety measures as they prepare to reopen on Saturday
Some pubs have had to notify their customers that they will not be opening at midnight, and have had to cancelled bookings. Above, Mark Breen, manager of The Little Prince in Margate, Kent, the smallest pub in England, prepares to reopen to the public on Saturday
The majority of the UK’s 35,000 pubs and small bars will be reopening on Saturday after months of being closed because of coronavirus measures. Above, the front of Roebuck pub in Borough is decorated ahead of Saturday
Some pubs in areas such as Leicestershire have chosen not to reopen tomorrow. Above, Landlady Carole Burton at The Three Crowns in Barrow upon Soar, in northern Leicestershire, puts up a sign saying they will not be opening due to the local lockdown
He said: ‘It is a good thing the Home Office has acted and has made the right decision keep pub doors firmly shut until 6am.
‘I would urge the public to be responsible, sensible, and mindful of the restrictions that are still in place.’
The British Beer and Pubs Association has urged people to follow hygiene measures that will in place at pubs and to be respectful and supportive of landlords and staff working in pubs and bars.
‘If we all work together we can ensure that the reopening of pubs and hospitality is a success and an enjoyable experience for everyone,’ the association said.
While regulations allowing for the reopening of pubs and bars comes into force from 6am, licensing conditions will still apply, and therefore pubs will only be able to open when their license allows.
While some pubs have been forced to cancel midnight opening events, some won’t have to wait too long if their license allows for an early opening. Above, the JD Wetherspoon Royal Victoria Pavillion in Ramsgate – Britain’s largest pub
The British Beer and Pubs Association has urged people to adhere to hygiene measures in place to stem the potential spread of coronavirus. Above, a hand sanitiser dispenser is pictured at Britain’s larges pub in Ramsgate
Beer barrels arrive at the Windsor Castle pub in South Kensington ahead of pubs reopening tomorrow. The government is waiting anxiously to see how people react to a further relaxation of lockdown rules
John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales (picture above) has urged the public to be responsible as they return to the pubs on Saturday
Q&A: WHAT DO THE NEW LOCKDOWN RULES SAY?
What has changed?
The latest laws come into force on Saturday, mostly at a minute past midnight, but pubs are not allowed to reopen until 6am.
They apply to England and “territorial waters adjacent to England only”.
Previous versions of this law have been replaced with The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020.
What does this mean?
From Saturday, people can meet in groups of up to 30 people, indoors or outdoors, and venues like pubs can open.
Bigger gatherings are banned apart from some exceptions, including those organised by businesses – such as pubs, restaurants and cinemas – and charities, public or political bodies, as long as the organiser has carried out a risk assessment on health and safety, and measures have been taken to prevent the risk of transmission of coronavirus.
Gatherings for work or education and training as well as to carry out legal obligations are allowed.
The existing law that only people from two households can meet indoors no longer applies.
But the Government has urged the public to continue to follow accompanying guidance of meetings of up to six people outdoors or two households indoors.
As before, social distancing advice is also not written into law but the Government has strongly urged people to keep following its guidance of keeping two metres apart, or one metre if they can take extra precautionary measures like wearing face masks, sitting side-by-side as opposed to face on, and washing their hands regularly.
There does not appear to be any legal requirement to provide names and contact details to venue owners when you visit.
Can I play cricket and football outside with friends or family?
There is nothing written into the new law to ban people playing cricket or football together.
Professor Chris Whitty told the Downing Street press conference on Friday that it may be possible to play the games safely at a distance as long as participants take precautions like keeping distance to avoid contact.
Which places still have to stay closed?
Nightclubs and any other venue which opens at night, has a dance floor or space for people dancing, plays live or recorded music for dancing, adult entertainment venues, casinos and bowling alleys.
Conference centres and exhibition halls must stay shut for conferences or trade shows.
Also all beauty salons including nail bars, tanning booths, spas, massage and tattoo parlours, body piercing businesses and any others which provide cosmetic or wellness treatments.
But hairdressers and barbers which offer these services in addition can open, just not offering beauty treatments.
Also to remain closed: indoor skating rinks, public swimming pools and water parks, indoor play areas, including soft play areas and any indoor gyms and sports facilities.
But it appears outdoor playgrounds can now open.
Buildings can also be used for blood donations, training elite athletes (including the use of indoor sports and gym equipment and swimming pools, studios used by professional dancers.
What else does the legislation say?
The Health Secretary can now order the closure of any public outdoor place – like parks or open country – without needing to write it into law if there is a “serious and imminent threat to public health”.
He must consult chief medical officers before doing so.
Although the decision is open to appeal from only owners and occupiers.
Once an outdoor area is designated a restricted area you can only go in it with a reasonable excuse – as set out the law and along similar lines to previous lockdown rules.
Local authorities will be responsible to notify people of the restriction. Officials will have to set out what is the restricted area and for how long it is closed.
These decisions must reviewed every seven days.
Can I still get fined?
People can still be issued with fines of £100, reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days, up to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences or be prosecuted.
Officers still have powers to disperse large groups and remove people from an area.
How long will the rules last?
The Regulations expire after six months unless they are scrapped by the Government earlier.
But the law requires Health Secretary Matt Hancock to terminate any of the restrictions and requirements as soon as they are considered no longer necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
They must be reviewed every 28 days and the first review must take place by July 31.
England has around 35,000 pubs and small bars, which have been closed since March 20.
The majority of them will be opening for the first time since being shuttered on what is being dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, after Boris Johnson announced easing of lockdown measures last week – including the reduction of the two meter rule to ‘one meter plus.’
‘I hope people will do this safely and sensibly… My message is let’s not blow it now folks’, Johnson said during an interview with LBC Radio, and suggested that it wouldn’t make much difference to wait until Monday to open pubs and bars.
Meanwhile, a stark warning of the danger pubs present in spreading coronavirus has been issued by the top scientists advising the Government on the eve of their reopening in England.
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the coronavirus pandemic ‘is a long way from gone’ as he urged the public to follow social-distancing rules when the lockdown is eased on Saturday.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, also warned of the danger of ‘superspreading’ of Covid-19 occurring in pubs.
Speaking today during a Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson was joined by Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty (right) and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser (right) and warned of the dangers of opening pubs on Saturday
Stood between them at the Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson urged the public to ‘enjoy summer safely’ so the ailing economy can be boosted without causing the virus to spread uncontrollably.
Professor Whitty added: ‘None of us believe, and I’m sure nobody watching this believes, this is a risk-free next step. It is absolutely not, that is why we have to be really serious about it.
‘There’s no doubt these are environments whose principal job it is to bring people together, that’s a great thing to do socially but it’s also a great thing from the virus’s point of view.
‘And therefore we do have to have a really clear and really disciplined approach to try and maintain social distancing whilst also enjoying pubs.’