LONDON—People relished their first pub drinks in more than three months, went to restaurants, and finally got haircuts on Saturday as England took its biggest steps yet towards resumption of normal life after the coronavirus lockdown.
Some pubs started serving from 6 a.m., sparking worries of over-indulgence on what the media dubbed a “Super Saturday” of restrictions being eased. Some hairdressers were reported to have opened at the stroke of midnight.
“Its beautiful just to get back and have a pint,” said Jim Martin, a 56-year old carpenter enjoying a beer at The Holland Tringham pub in south London, part of the JD Wetherspoon chain. It opened at 8 a.m. and was about three quarters full by 11.20 a.m.
Julie Scott, a 43-year-old teacher, was there with her family for drinks and food.
“I think its just where everyone gets to socialise and catch up with people that they havent seen … its nice to just get together,” she said.
Others complained that the lockdown, which began in late March and has been gradually eased in recent weeks, had lasted too long.
“Its about time they opened them up,” said pensioner Ron Lock.
Police chiefs worried the reopening of pubs could fuel drunken and irresponsible behaviour, while hospitals have been warned to prepare for a New Years Eve-style weekend.
“Theres an element of decompression going on, particularly with younger people whove had some very responsible parents keeping them in over recent weeks,” Marc Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, told BBC radio.
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 Johnsons government has faced criticism from the opposition over its handling of the pandemic – including locking down later than some other parts of Europe – and is now anxious to get the battered economy moving again.
The Joy Of A Haircut
Men queuing for haircuts and busy hairdressing salons were a common sight across the country.
At Savvas Barbers in Streatham, south London, healthcare assistant Benjamin Prior, 31, said he normally gets a cut every month but has had to wait four months.
“Its just brilliant to finally get a new haircut now, its the length I want, short as possible,” he said.
In another relaxation of lockdown rules, two households can now meet indoors as loRead More – Source