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Saturday night live! Revellers hit town for big weekend since lockdown

Saturday night live! Revellers hit the town for first big weekend since lockdown as police urge them to ‘be sensible’ at pubs expecting to sell 6 MILLION pints

  • Outdoor seating in pubs and restaurants across the country were swamped by revellers on Saturday night
  • Partygoers made the most of their new-found freedoms in the first big weekend since lockdown eased
  • The hospitality sector hoped to recoup some of its losses from the past year after outdoor service resumed  

Revellers hit the town for first big weekend since lockdown restrctions were eased as police urged them to ‘be sensible’ with pubs expecting to sell more than six million pints.

Outdoor seating in pubs and restaurants across the country – inlcuding London, Leeds and Newcastle – were swamped on Saturday night as partygoers made the most of their new-found freedoms.

The hospitality sector had hoped to recoup some of its losses from the past year after outdoor service resumed in England on Monday – ahead of the rest of the UK. 

It was estimated that the 50,000 pubs and restaurants selling alcohol would serve six million pints to mark ‘Super Saturday’.   

But authorities urged drinkers to celebrate cautiously as the easing of restrictions created ‘challenges for policing’. 

Outdoor seating in pubs and restaurants across the country were swamped on Saturday night as partygoers hoped to make the most of their new-found freedoms. Pictured: Partygoers in Leeds

Partygoers have hit the town for first big weekend since lockdown restrctions were eased as police urged them to ‘be sensible’ at pubs expecting to sell more than six million pints. Pictured: Revellers in Newcastle

The hospitality sector hoped to recoup some of its losses from the past year after outdoor service resumed in England on Monday. Pictured: Friends drinking in Soho, London

Pubs across the country were expecting to sell more than six million pints on Saturday plus an additional 10,000 takeaway pints served by establishments without outdoor seating. Pictured: Revellers in Leeds

But tensions appeared to boil over in some areas as police detained one man in Leeds after authorities urged people to be cautious

Beer gardens in England were re-opened at the start of the week as Britain continued on Boris Johnson ‘s roadmap out of lockdown. Pictured: Man gestures at police in Soho

Authorities urged drinkers to celebrate cautiously as the easing of restrictions has created ‘challenges for policing’. Pictured: Revellers enjoying a night out in Liverpool

Partygoers hoped to make the most of their new-found freedoms on the first big weekend since lockdown restrctions were eased. Pictured: Friends in Leeds

Beer gardens in England were re-opened at the start of the week as Britain continued on Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.

But the hospitality sector will not reopen in Wales and Scotland until April 26 – with outdoor service for groups of six people in Northern Ireland not being offered until April 30. 

Pubs across the country were expecting to sell more than six million pints on Saturday plus an additional 10,000 takeaway pints served by establishments without outdoor seating. 

It comes after police chiefs urged people to be cautious in taking these next steps. 

John Apter, the Police Federation of England and Wales’s national chair, previously warned: ‘Everybody is frustrated and fed up with the restrictions we are living under. 

‘With the warmer weather, along with the easing of lockdown, mixed with that frustration will create more pressure and challenges for policing.

Police offciers weearing fave masks look on as people party along a street in Soho, London, on the first big weekend since lockdown eased

Revellers enjoyed a Saturday night in Newcastle on the first weekend of pub beer gardens opening for business since lockdown restrictions eased

One group of friends hit the streets in Newcastle as they made the most of the first big weekend since lockdown restrctions were eased authorities urged drinkers to celebrate cautiously as the easing of restrictions created ‘challenges for policing’

One policeman wearing a facemask danced in the centre of a crowd as people partied along a street in Soho, London, on ‘Super Saturday’

Punters looked to be in very good spirits as they sat outside a bar in Soho, London, to make the most of their new-found freedoms

The hospitality sector hoped to recoup some of its losses from the past year after outdoor service resumed. Pictured: Revellers in Newcastle

Revellers gathered on the streets of Newcastle as 

‘We haven’t had to police the night-time economy for most of the past year as pubs and clubs have been closed. 

‘When they start opening again, it will add even more pressure on officers who are already working flat out.’

Under current rules, people must remain seated outdoors to eat and drink and are limited to groups of no more than six people or two households. 

On ‘Fab Friday’ there were equally raucous scenes as experts estimated that around five million pints and 500,000 bottles of wine were drunk by an estimated 1.5million people nationwide.

Scuffles broke out over table reservations as revellers packed their local outdoor bars with tensions boiling over in some areas prompting police to intervene amid violent scenes in London’s Soho at the start of the night as drinkers clashed.

It was the first opportunity for people to wine and dine with friends and family in six months with November being the last time revellers could enjoy outdoor hospitality.   

Shoppers pack the pavements of Oxford Street in London today on the first Saturday since lockdown restrictions were eased in England

Shoppers pack onto Northumberland Street in Newcastle on the first Saturday since lockdown restrictions eased and non essential shops reopened

Oxford Street in London was heaving with people out enjoying the 53F (12C) sunshine in the capital and meeting up with their friends

Restaurants serve customers outside in Chinatown, London, as groups enjoy a Saturday meal out for the first time this year

People walk and queue outside restaurants in Chinatown, London, this afternoon on the first Saturday since lockdown restrictions were eased

Queues stretched down the street in Mancesheter as customers waited to get into pub gardens on the first weekend since lockdown rules were eased

Earlier in the day city centres were equally as busy with shoppers who had flocked to the high street to revisit their favourite shops. 

Oxford Street in London was heaving with people out enjoying the 53F (12C) sunshine in the capital and shoppers descended on Northumberland Street in Newcastle-upon-Tyne with little social distancing.

Customers returned to outdoor restaurants in Chinatown in central London today with people enjoying a Saturday meal out for the first time this year.

And Newcastle’s main high street was jam packed with families and groups of friends perusing the newly opened stores with hairdressers and gyms also able to re-open.  

One onlooker said: ‘I am shocked. This time last week the place was a ghost town. Today, you can barely move for the shoppers.’

People enjoy the warm weather early this afternoon sitting on deck chairs outside pubs in Wimbledon, south London, where temperatures are set to reach 57F (14C) later today

Restaurants and beer gardens have been packed with customers as temperatures soared to 53F. Pictured: Group of friends in Manchester

Crowds of people friends sitting with friends in the afternoon sunshine on Wimbledon Common as they take advantage of the warm temperatures after coronavirus lockdown measures were eased

People read the newspapers and enjoy takeaway beers on deck chairs outside pubs in Wimbledon, south London, this afternoon

Members of the public making the most of the sunny weather in Primrose Hill, north London, earlier today

The crwods had been encouraged by the sunny spells and highs of 57F (14C) in England with the mercury set to rise to 61F (16C) on Sunday. 

 It comes as the first sporting event to be attended by fans also kicked off today, with Crucible Theatre in Sheffield is a third full for the opening session of the World Snooker Championship.

It is the first of a series of test events on the road to a return to normality at sports events, with tomorrow’s FA Cup semi-final between Leicester City and Southampton at Wembley set to be watched by 4,000 fans. 

The Met Office forecast sunny spells and highs of 57F (14C) in England today as people gathered in green spaces across the country including Wimbledon Common (pictured)

Shoppers descend onto Northumberland Street in Newcastle-upon-Tyne this afternoon, with little social distancing in sight

Shoppers queue outside the Lego store in Leicester Square, London, as the sun shines down on the capital this Saturday afternoon

Tables pack out outside My Place in Soho, central London, this afternoon on the first weekend since lockdown restrictions were eased to allow restaurants to reopen

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