The nation toasted Super Saturday yesterday as all pubs were allowed to serve pints on the premises for the first time in 105 days.
Grinning pals queued from 6am as watering holes across England threw open their doors after a
The £210million drinking spree, £60 million more than a typical weekend before the shutdown on March 20, was just the start of the nationwide revelry.
Experts say 15 million pints were supped, the same kind of spike seen when England play a World Cup.
It was also the first chance to get a haircut, go to the flicks, visit a theme park, enjoy a meal in a restaurant or stay at a hotel
But hopes of a lucrative reopening by some pub landlords were hit by wind and rain.
And last night there were health fears as young customers appeared to be ignoring social distancing.
On Blackpool’s Golden Mile at Shenanigans Bar, landlady Lisa Schofield welcomed old regulars but said hen and stag do’s were barred for safety reasons.
In Newcastle Upon Tyne lorry driver Justin Evans, 42, said: “My son has just passed his assessment to join the Army. It’s fantastic that we have been able to come out and celebrate.”
At the Shropshire Arms, Chester, ert Lockley said: “I’ve missed this more than my missus when she left.
You can drink at home but you can’t get this feeling anywhere else.”
Young customers appeared to squeeze together in London’s Borough Market in breach of the new one-metre-plus distance guideline.
But also in the capital, there was no problem with spaced-out tables at the huge Terrace Bar at Alexandra Palace.
And one of Britain’s smallest pubs, the Circus Tavern in Manchester, stopped crowding with perspex screens – as one customer proved by squashing his face against the surface.
In Harborne, Birmingham, Hop Garden owner Brendon Daly was already fully booked with 168 punters reserving tables online.
He said: “Drinkers have got two and a half hours before they need to move.”
Sara Holywell, 20, and Chloe Hodgson, 23, enjoyed a drink at Birmingham’s Brasshouse bar.
Airport worker Dave Woodward, 48, queued outside his local The Engine Inn in Kenilworth, Warks, for first orders at 11am.
He said: “It’s the best pint I’ve ever had. It tastes absolutely fantastic. After three months of bottled beer, I’m so glad to have a cask ale in my hands.”
Customers made regular use of the hand sanitiser at the Mossy Well Wetherspoon in Muswell Hill, North London.
Wetherspoon, which reopened all its 730 pubs in England, except five in locked-down Leicester, said: “We’re delighted to be back.”
But the Campaign for Real Ale said around half of England’s 37,500 boozers remained closed, with many deciding it was not viable to reopen under strict social distancing requirements.
Pubs in Wales won’t open until July 13 while ones in Scotland are due to reopen on July 15.
But some thirsty Scots got the train to Carlisle, ten miles south of the border.
At the city’s William Rufus Wetherspoon were Jim Anderson, 58, and Duncan Mitchell, 59, from Cambuslang near Glasgow.
Duncan, a panel beater, said: “We have been cooped up for three months so it’s great to get out for the day.”
Police in Durham welcomed drinkers with the message: “Enjoy the bars, don’t end up behind them.”
Some of the big cinema chains such as Cineworld, Vue and Picturehouse are not reopening yet because of a shortage of new releases.
But the Showcase cinema at Bluewater shopping centre in Dartford, Kent, screened old Harry Potter movies while rigorously enforcing distancing and sanitising.