Sunday, 17 Jan 2021

Brits rush to pubs and restaurants as lockdown ends in England

Pubs are a ‘dangerous place to be’ says Hugh Pennington

Ignoring the cold, people in Liverpool, where curbs have been eased to Tier 2, and in low-risk Tier 1 areas gathered in groups to drink and enjoy meals on Wednesday night. Hospitality venues in Tier 3 can open only for takeaways and delivery while those in Tier 2 can serve drinks with a meal. Hundreds also joined queues around big stores until late as shops extended their opening hours.

Others celebrated the reopening of pantomimes, with the curtain rising on Jack And The Beanstalk at York Theatre Royal.

Police were patrolling the streets to ensure people followed the rules, with pub owners facing large fines for intentionally flouting them.

Several landlords installed outdoor heaters and gazebos to welcome back customers safely on Wednesday.

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A Downing Street spokesman said: “It’s for both customers and venues to act reasonably and to exercise good judgment when adhering to these regulations.”

Retailers hope the longer trading times will help them recoup sales lost during lockdown.

Helen Dickinson, of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The run-up to Christmas is a vital time for retailers, with one in every £8 spent in December.

“Following four weeks of closure, many are extending opening hours, offering discounts, and looking at other ways to create an enjoyable shopping experience and bring back customers.”

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