Brits Celebrate the Reopening Of Shops and Pub Gardens

Finally, some good news for pubs! The unpredictable weather has not stopped Brits from visiting shops and pubs this afternoon, as the Government’s lockdown was partially eased. BBC News has the story.

For the first time in months, pub gardens, shops and hairdressers have reopened in England, as rules were also eased in the rest of the UK.

Shoppers flocked to the High Street, with long queues seen outside some retailers. Other people took advantage of England’s gyms and zoos reopening.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged everyone to “behave responsibly”.

Northern Ireland’s “stay-at-home” order is ending and some rules are being eased in Scotland and Wales.

The PM had planned to have a celebratory pint to mark the measures easing, but that has been postponed following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday. …

Scott Westlake, landlord of the Myrtle Tavern in Leeds, said the pub had received 5,000 bookings over the next month for his new outside eating and drinking area.

Mr Westlake said: “If the weather’s good, I think most people are optimistic and excited.

“Atmosphere, ambience, seeing your mates, I think they (customers) are looking forward to that more than anything – and they’ll sit in a blizzard for the first few days at least.”

Nicholas Hair, landlord and owner of the Kentish Belle pub in Bexleyheath, south-east London, said there was a “sense of celebration” in the early hours of Monday as it opened to midnight customers. 

“I’m hoping that this is a sort of rebirth, and that we are reopen for the foreseeable,” he said.

It’s not been smooth sailing for all pubs, however. A pub in Coventry is currently being investigated by the local council because hundreds of people queued outside before it opened at midnight. BBC News reports:

Darren Lee, owner of the Oak Inn, said 260 customers were seated in groups of up to six at its outside tables – but 300 to 400 people were turned away.

He said crowds at the Gosford Street pub were “very well behaved” and police were satisfied with the situation.

However, Coventry City Council said it was investigating to see whether it followed rules.

BBC News’ report on the reopening of the hospitality industry is worth reading in full.

Stop Press: Tesco has urged people to go to the pub, given how tough it has been for the hospitality industry over the past year.

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