BRIT boozers have defended their "selfish" drinking in pubs despite the coronavirus ban, pleading: "Don't judge us".
Hundreds of revellers flouted government advice to swerve pubs and descended on British cities last night before public venues were shut for good.
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Despite being branded "selfish" by NHS workers and furious social media users, the defiant boozers have defended their actions.
Julie Walton, 38, reasoned she was still being told to go into work for HMRC in Tyne and Wear so should be able to visit bars.
She told The Sun Online: "It could be our last chance, that's the reason why we wanted to come tonight.
"It could be weeks or months before we get to go out again. I'm not going to get my money back for tonight so I may as well make the most of it.
"If I am getting forced to go to work every day in a building with two thousand people, I can come out for a couple of drinks."
Kath Robson, 64, who is from Newcastle and works for Gateshead Council, said: "I don't mind the closures if it is going to help.
"It is our friend's birthday and we're going to our friend's restaurant.
"People who want to stay at home, it is each to their own.
"You can't judge what people do, just do what is best for you."
Jonathan West, 52, an energy consultant in Newcastle added: "I work 9 to 5, I work in a large office.
"I have seen what's going on with the world but I feel fit, I feel healthy.
"It is relaxation after work to have a pint.
"I think the pubs are doing what they can to stay in business.
"I don't see why this has come into force on a Friday night after everybody has left a full day of work."
Painter and decorator Matt Spalding, 42, visits his local, the Bear Inn in Brighton, five nights a week after work.
The dad-of-one said: “I’ve been ignoring the advice about not visiting pubs because I think I knew this was going to happen, so I knew any day now was going to be the last time we could do this for a while.
“You’ve still got to socialise and carry on.
“I come here because it’s a habit.
“You go to the pub, have a couple of drinks and chill out.
“It’s a calm-down before you go home.”
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Boris Johnson yesterday made the unprecedented announcement of ordering all pubs and restaurants to close, which led to panic buying of alcohol and thousands taking to the town.
Cinemas, leisure centres and cafes will also close across Britain in a bid to curb the spread of the disease as the death toll rose to 177 in the UK yesterday.
Restaurants will still be allowed to do takeaways, but supermarkets are unlikely to be affected at this stage.
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Anticipating a rush to the pubs, the PM had pleaded with the public not to go out last night, and to think of others.
He said: "You may think that you are invincible but there is no guarantee that you will get mild symptoms and you can still be a carrier of the disease and pass it on to others."
Dozens of others had slso begged people to avoid drinking in crowds in bars – and urged them to think of NHS staff working tirelessly to battle the killer bug.
Some shared photos of NHS staff holding up signs pleading with drinkers to avoid going out.
NHS Intensive Care consultant Jack told LBC yesterday: "When I'm hearing people saying 'I'm just going to go the pub and it's Mother's Day. I don't care.'
"That I'm afraid is killing people. It will kill people. And not just kill people, people who survive it could be respiratorily crippled for the rest of their lives.
"You may not die, but you may not get back to how you were."
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