Revellers hit Britain’s city centres last night for the first Saturday when they can sit inside pubs and restaurants under relaxed Covid rules.
Partygoers across the country enjoyed their first night on the town after months of strict lockdown rules, many donning dresses and high heels to celebrate their new-found freedom.
The streets of London, Leeds, and Liverpool were packed full as people swapped a night in at home to hit the numerous bars in the country’s cities and prepared to celebrate with their friends into the small hours.
The scenes follows pubs and bars in England being allowed to open their indoor seating areas and welcoming back groups of up to six people, or two households.
Jubilant revellers were spotted donning their beer jackets as they enjoyed the first Saturday night out in Leeds city centre since the latest easing of lockdown rules.
Revellers hit Britain’s city centres last night for the first Saturday when they can sit inside pubs and restaurants under relaxed Covid rules (pictured, partygoers in Leeds)
Partygoers across the country enjoyed their first night on the town after months of strict lockdown rules, many donning dresses and heels to celebrate their new-found freedom
The streets of London, Leeds, Birmingham, and Liverpool were packed full as people as revellers sought to make up for months of lost time
It comes after a warning from UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls that many venues have not made it through the shutdown, which means the look of the high street will change as Covid-19 restrictions lift.
She told BBC Breakfast: ‘There has been a contraction of one in 10 restaurants across the UK but in our high streets it is as high as one in five, so our high streets are going to look very different – that’s overall including pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels, and the contraction has been right across the board in those areas.
‘All of our businesses are suffering and sadly we have lost 660,000 members of staff.
‘Furlough and business support has kept those numbers as low as we can but there is a big risk as we come out of this pandemic, as these businesses are going to be very heavily in debt.
‘They are much more indebted than any other sector of the economy. In particular, they have got high levels of rent debt so the shadow of Covid is going to hang over these businesses for about six months before we know that we can get them through.’
She suggested that the amount of business and premises losses, particularly among independent firms, could escalate further if the Government’s road map is changed and as business support tapers off in the summer.
The scenes follows pubs and bars in England being allowed to open their indoor seating areas and welcoming back groups of up to six people, or two households
Jubilant revellers were spotted donning dresses and high heels as they enjoyed the first Saturday night out in Leeds city centre since the latest easing of lockdown rules
Six partygoers pose for a picture as they enjoy going out in Liverpool on Saturday night for the first time in several months
Jubilant revellers enjoyed going out in Liverpool on Saturday night, on the first weekend pubs and restaurants were able to welcome punters indoors since November
Partygoers messed around in Soho, London, on Saturday night, enjoying their first night out since Covid restrictions eased on Monday
It comes as cases rose slightly in the UK as fears grow the spread of the Indian Covid variant could slow lockdown easing
The number of Covid deaths per day has remained low, despite concerns over the spread of the Indian variant of the virus
The jubilant scenes come after a warning from UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls that many venues have not made it through the shutdown, which means the look of the high street will change as Covid-19 restrictions lift
Partygoers were seen on their way home after a enjoying their first night out in Leeds city centre after months of Covid lockdowns
A second night of partying took place in Leeds on Saturday as revellers enjoyed their first trips to pubs and bars in months
The latest easing also means the return of small in-home meetings and groups of up to 30 people can now meet outdoors in England and Scotland
Hugging is also permitted between close family and friends across the UK, except in Northern Ireland, where they remain in place until at least May 24
Revellers in Soho, London, made the most of the first Saturday night out after Covid lockdown restrictions eased
Street marshalls were out in force in Leeds on Saturday night as revellers enjoyed returning to the pubs for the first time since Covid restrictions eased
Revellers made the most of Saturday night in Leicester Square, central London, as easing of lockdown restrictions continue
The latest restrictions lift also means the return of small in-home meetings and groups of up to 30 people can now meet outdoors in England and Scotland.
Hugging is also permitted between close family and friends across the UK, except in Northern Ireland, where they remain in place until at least May 24.
Other recreational venues such as cinemas, museums, theatres and concert halls will be allowed to reopen, although there will be capacity limits on large events.
Speaking before the restrictions were eased, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged families to adopt a ‘heavy dose of caution’ when enjoying their new found freedom in a bid to prevent a spike in new Covid cases.
Four revellers pose for the camera as they hit the streets of Leeds for a rainy night out on Friday evening
Two people are caught out in the heavy rain, sheltering under their purse and jacket, as they move between bars on the first Friday evening that bars are open in Newcastle city centre after the latest easing of lockdown restrictions
In Newcastle, revellers braved the heavy downpours as they took to the city centre and prepared to celebrate with their friends
Despite the torrential rain, revellers took to the streets of Newcastle (left) and Manchester (right) to enjoy a night out
Revellers braved the wind and rain as they walking into Manchester city centre and prepared to enjoy their first Friday night since lockdown rules were relaxed to allow people inside at pubs and bars
In Cardiff, another reveller was spotted using her jacket to protect herself from the elements as rain and wind continues to hit the city
Last night, revellers cross the country were spotted braving the rain in their hordes as they enjoyed their new freedom by toasting the return of pubs and restaurants.
Pictures showed people flocking to pubs and bars while doing their best to avoid the downpours of rain with some desperately held pieces of clothing over their heads.
Drinkers also hit the streets in Newcastle, Leeds and other cities across the UK to see their friends after months of lockdown.
It came despite the Met Office issuing a yellow weather warning and predicted gusts of up to 60mph in Wales and southern England over the weekend.
Hundreds of homes have also been left without power as the nation was battered by 85mph gusts in a weekend washout.
The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning for strong winds on Friday in south-east England – stretching from Norwich to Southampton.
The bad weather comes as Britons are allowed to meet indoors for the first weekend since early November.
Large parts of the country were plunged into Tier 2 or 3 restrictions at the end of the second lockdown on December 2, with only pubs in Tier 1 – Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, and the Scilly Isles – open to groups from mixed households.
Those in Tier 2 were able to meet inside pubs, provided they had a substantial meal. But in Tier 3, all pubs were closed.