Photographs capture the scenes of carnage across England as revellers rush for their first drinks in bars in nearly four months.
“Super Saturday” – dubbed after Boris Johnson gave bars and restaurants the green light to finally reopen – became extremely wild and messy in many large English cities, including London, Newcastle and Leeds.
These pictures taken last night show drinkers were determined to make the most of the freedom – even at the expense of their health or, at times, their dignity.
In Leeds, West Yorkshire, for instance, one woman is pictured passed out on the wet pavement as two police officers attempt to assess her.
In another picture taken in the city, a woman appears to throw up as a friend holds back her hair.
And, a few young lads seem worse for wear in another photo as they stagger along pavement and rest against structures to keep upright.
The Government had warned drinkers to behave responsibly ahead of “Super Saturday”.
But people online expressed their ire after city centres became crowded last night with people desperate for several drinks. It appeared the more people drank, the less their desire to follow social distancing rules.
Indeed, footage taken in London’s Soho area, showed last night joyful people celebrating and engaging closely with those around them.
One man, who passed through the busy roads, told Mirror Online: “Walking down old Compton Street felt like wading through a Petri dish.
“And that was at about 4:30pm. Not much chance to socially distance even just walking down the street.”
Another video shared online shows a man twerking against a car trying to navigate through the crowds. The twerker is moved on but the car struggles to get through Soho as other drinkers move into the road.
Among the Twitter backlash reads a comment pleading with drinkers to “show respect”.
On a date (84%)
Friend’s house (77%)
With family (76%)
Tip run (75%)
Petrol station (69%)
Pub / bar (61%t)
Hairdresser / barber (43%)
Doctor / hospital (34%)
Public transport (30%)
“Just seen scenes if Soho pubs… my heart goes out to those health care workers and their families who died of Covid to save the rest of us… disgusting lack of respect,” the message read.
Another person fumed: “Just seen the scenes in Soho. It’s as if the health care workers who risked their lives trying to deal with the pandemic were just wasting their time.”
But delighted punters have voiced their joy after they were finally allowed to set foot inside their local boozers again.
One man, named Jimmy, earlier said : “It’s brilliant being back.
“I was on nights, finished my shift…went home had a shower and came in.
“Have my first Carling was like an angel p***ing on the tip of my tongue. It’s great that it’s back on draught. I’m sick of cans in the house.”
Despite the relaxation of restrictions, some 30 per cent of bars, pubs and restaurants have actually stayed shut, according to the Night-Time Industries Association, amid fears for safety and concerns over how to implement social distancing guidance.
Campaign for Real Ale national chairman Nik Antona said: “The government have not really been helpful with their guidance, leaving it to the last minute in a lot of cases.”
Some pubs “want to see what’s going to happen” before opening their doors, he said.