Two pints and a Full English, please! Jubilant Britons enjoy boozy breakfasts ...

A full-English breakfast washed down with a pint - or two - was top of the menu for thousands of pub-going Britons as they flooded back to pubs to enjoy a first taste of lockdown freedom.

Britons were today pictured pint-in-hand as they scoffed a cooked breakfasts in their local watering holes. 

One man in Birmingham was even pictured with a drink in each hand as he prepared to tuck into a plate of bacon, eggs and beans at a local Wetherspoon.

Others ditched the food altogether and opted for a 'liquid breakfast'.

It comes as pubs were given the green light to reopen indoor areas for the first time this year - more than a month after ministers allowed the reopening of outdoor areas.

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Restaurants and cafes also threw open their indoor areas today, as customers flooded back to enjoy a booze-free breakfast.

One social media user claimed he had knocked back five pints this morning after visiting a pub earlier this morning to enjoy a full English.

Another rejoiced: 'Good morning. Better than that. It's a great morning. I am going to the pub!! First time since October!'  

A full-English breakfast washed down with a pint - or two - was top of the menu for thousands of pub-going Britons as they flooded back to pubs to enjoy a first taste of lockdown freedom

A full-English breakfast washed down with a pint - or two - was top of the menu for thousands of pub-going Britons as they flooded back to pubs to enjoy a first taste of lockdown freedom

One man in Birmingham was even pictured with a drink in each hand as he prepared to tuck into a plate of bacon, eggs and beans at a local Wetherspoon

One man in Birmingham was even pictured with a drink in each hand as he prepared to tuck into a plate of bacon, eggs and beans at a local Wetherspoon

It comes as pubs were given the green light to reopen indoor areas for the first time this year - more than a month after ministers allowed the reopening of outdoor areas

It comes as pubs were given the green light to reopen indoor areas for the first time this year - more than a month after ministers allowed the reopening of outdoor areas

David Drummond is the first to have a pint in his local Wetherspoons this morning at 9am

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David Drummond is the first to have a pint in his local Wetherspoons this morning at 9am

A customer enjoys an early pint at the Fox on the Hill pub in London as lockdown easing continues in the face of the threat of the Indian variant of Covid

A customer enjoys an early pint at the Fox on the Hill pub in London as lockdown easing continues in the face of the threat of the Indian variant of Covid

Restaurants and cafes also threw open their indoor areas today, as customers flooded back to enjoy a booze-free breakfast

Restaurants and cafes also threw open their indoor areas today, as customers flooded back to enjoy a booze-free breakfast

Wetherspoon was a particularly popular venue for pub-goers this morning. Here friends Simon Woods and Will Rix catch-up over breakfast

Wetherspoon was a particularly popular venue for pub-goers this morning. Here friends Simon Woods and Will Rix catch-up over breakfast

A customer enjoys a full English Breakfast at an indoor table at Jenn's Diner, Redruth, in Falmouth, on the morning that cafes and restaurants reopen indoor areas for the first time this year

A customer enjoys a full English Breakfast at an indoor table at Jenn's Diner, Redruth, in Falmouth, on the morning that cafes and restaurants reopen indoor areas for the first time this year

A table of customers are served full English Breakfasts at an indoor table at Jenn's Diner, Redruth, on May 17, 2021 in Falmouth

A table of customers are served full English Breakfasts at an indoor table at Jenn's Diner, Redruth, on May 17, 2021 in Falmouth

Meanwhile, social media users unable to make the morning rush to the pub owed to visiting their local later this evening.

One said: 'No Monday morning feeling here today. Early finish from work, day off tomorrow and INSIDE the pub later!!!'

Others rejoiced 'Freedom Day', with one saying: 'Freedom day 2.0. What a day.' Another put: 'Happy freedom day.'

Another added: 'I am going to the pub later, this is truly a wonderful day.'  

The Monday rush to the pub comes amid fears from industry bosses that the UK could be struck by a beer shortage due to a sudden spike in demand. 

Experts earlier last week revealed pub-goers would need to knock back a staggering 124 pints this summer to help watering holes recover from more than a year of closures and restrictions.

But, according to the boss of pub chain Young's, a sudden spike in demand could spark a new problem for the lockdown-ravaged industry - a beer shortage - ahead of Monday's big reopening.

It comes after pubs reported a shortage of Amstel and Birra Morretti when outdoor hospitality areas were allowed to reopen last month. 

Patrick Dardis told the Sunday Telegraph: 'I wrote to all the CEOs of all the brewers saying that 'we've been through enough now, we are at the end of tunnel and the last thing we need is a problem with supply, so get your act together and brew like you've never brewed before, because it's just not acceptable'. 

He added: 'As soon as the pubs start again we expect supply to be there.' 

It comes as industry sources revealed to MailOnline last month that Moretti's owner Heineken was temporarily limiting UK pubs to ordering only three kegs per week to cope with supply issues.

Pubs face a beer shortage ahead of Monday's big reopening, as brewers struggle to keep up with the huge influx in demand, according to industry chiefs. Pictured: A barman pours a pint of beer in a pub

Pubs face a beer shortage ahead of Monday's big reopening, as brewers struggle to keep up with the huge influx in demand, according to industry chiefs. Pictured: A barman pours a pint of beer in a pub

It comes after pubs reported a shortage of Amstel and Birra Morretti (pictured) when outdoor hospitality areas were allowed to reopen last month

It comes after pubs reported a shortage of Amstel and Birra Morretti (pictured) when outdoor hospitality areas were allowed to reopen last month

Heineken UK told MailOnline last week that demand for Amstel (pictured)and Moretti had 'totally surpassed our most optimistic forecasts' and their breweries are 'working round the clock' to deal with the surge

Heineken UK told MailOnline last week that demand for Amstel (pictured)and Moretti had 'totally surpassed our most optimistic forecasts' and their breweries are 'working round the clock' to deal with the surge

Heineken UK told MailOnline last week that demand had 'totally surpassed our most optimistic forecasts' and their breweries are 'working round the clock' to deal with the surge 

The issue is particularly potent for the 2,500 Star Pubs & Bars - owned by Heineken - offered them alternatives while increasing production of in-demand brands.  

A Heineken UK spokesman told MailOnline last month: 'Over ten million adults in England have headed back to the great British pub, with many treating themselves to a much missed draught pint.

'Demand for Birra Moretti and Amstel has totally surpassed our most optimistic forecasts, and our breweries are working round the clock to deal with this high level of demand.

'We are working with our customers to offer alternative beers from the extensive Heineken UK range of brands as we increase production.'

It comes as earlier this week fiance firm Company Debt revealed every Britain would need to drink 124 pints across the summer to return the industry to pre-pandemic levels.

According to the finance experts, the industry needs £25.66billion to get back to where it was before the Covid crisis.

The company said: 'With the latest estimates suggesting that the UK's food and beverage industry lost at least £25.66bn due to Covid-19 we wondered how much every person in the UK would need to spend in order to reach pre-pandemic levels. 

'In particular we wondered how far that money would go in pubs, one of the most beleaguered sectors. 

Groups of people enjoy a drink on a Saturday evening in London's Soho over the weekend

Groups of people enjoy a drink on a Saturday evening in London's Soho over the weekend 

People sit in a pub garden in Canonbury, North London, in the sunshine last Friday

People sit in a pub garden in Canonbury, North London, in the sunshine last Friday

 'We came up with a figure of 124 per pints per adult, based on a figure of 52million adults in the UK.' 

Meanwhile punters last month complained how the price of a pint has risen to £7 at some bars in London with pubs hiking prices by as much as £1.10 to claw back losses made during lockdown.

One punter said a single pint of Peroni has rocked by 60p from £6.40 to £7 in Roehampton, South West London, since the reopening on April 12.

Social media users also blasted the 'shocking' increase, claiming a Sam Smiths beverage has risen by £1.10.

The price hike follows breweries adding more than 12p a pint to brands including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Becks.

One consultant from a beer outlet said an increase of 4p to 5p is expected year on year, but labelled a rise of 9p as 'absolutely ridiculous', adding that over 12p is 'just scandalous'.

In a letter seen by the MailOnline, drinks distributors G+G Gallo Enterprises listed price increases from suppliers that came into effect on April 5.

Among the lagers listed, Budweiser and Stella Four had the highest increase in price at 12.7p per pint, followed by Becks and Stella at 12p and Blue Moon at 9.5p (excluding VAT).

What can people in England do from May 17? 

Can people come over to my house again?

Yes. Up to six people from multiple households or an unlimited number of people from two households will be allowed to visit you inside your house again.

Can people stay over at my house again?

Yes. People from outside your household will be allowed to stay overnight, as long as you stick to within the rule of six or two households.

Can I still meet people outside?

Yes. You will now be able to meet in groups of up to 30 people outside. Bigger groups will be illegal. Until May 17, you can still only meet outside in groups of six.

A member of bar staff wearing a face masks serves drink in a pub in East London in July 2020

A member of bar staff wearing a face masks serves drink in a pub in East London in July 2020

Can I hug my friends and family again?

Yes. The Government has said you can hug 'close friends and family' from outside your own household - for the first time since the pandemic began in March 2020.

However, people are being urged to be 'exercise their own personal judgement in line with the risks.' There is no legal definition on who 'close friends and family' are.  

The Government also said wider social distancing rules will remain in place in adult social care, medical, retail, hospitality and business settings.

Can you sit inside a pub again?

Yes, indoor hospitality will resume – so you can sit inside a pub or restaurant with people from other households, as long as the rule of six (or two households) is met.

Will there be a substantial meal or curfew requirement for pubs?

No. As with step two on April 12, venues will not have to serve a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks; nor will there be a curfew.

An audience sit at the Pavilion theatre in Weymouth for a pantomime in December last year

An audience sit at the Pavilion theatre in Weymouth for a pantomime in December last year

Will you be able to stand at the bar?

No. Customers will still have to order, eat and drink while seated at a hospitality venue – even though they will now be allowed inside.

Will indoor entertainment venues now be allowed to reopen?

Yes. Cinemas, theatres, museums and indoor children's play areas will all be allowed to reopen, but must follow guidelines on social distancing and face masks.

Concert halls, conference centres and sports stadia will also be allowed to reopen, with larger events in all venues able to resume with capacity limits (see below). 

Will venues face capacity limits?

Yes. Larger performances and sporting events will be capped in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full, whichever is a lower number. For outdoor venues the cap will be 4,000 people or half-full - again, whichever is lower.

In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend - or a quarter-full, whichever is lower.

Football fans at Wembley Stadium at a pilot event for the FA Cup semi-final last month

Football fans at Wembley Stadium at a pilot event for the FA Cup semi-final last month 

Will social distancing and face masks rules remain for now?

Yes. The one-metre (3ft) rule remains in place in public settings such as pubs, shops and restaurants. You should wear a face mask when walking around these places.

What about children wearing masks in schools?

Secondary school children will no longer have to wear face masks in classrooms and corridors from May 17. However, those aged 11 and above will still be required to wear the masks in public settings such as shops, unless they have a medical exemption.

Ministers said infection rates among students and staff continue to decrease in line with wider community transmission, but twice weekly home testing will remain. 

Will students be able to attend university lectures in person again?

Yes. All university students in England can return to campus next week for in-person teaching. They will be expected to get tested for Covid-19 twice a week.

Most students, apart from those on critical courses, were told not to travel back to term-time accommodation as part of the third national lockdown in January.

Students on practical courses, who require specialist equipment and facilities, began returning to face-to-face teaching on March 8. But it is estimated that about half of university students have not been eligible to return to in-person lessons.

Cinema-goers in their seats for a film at the Odeon Leicester Square in London last August

Cinema-goers in their seats for a film at the Odeon Leicester Square in London last August

Can I go on holiday abroad again?

Yes, but with many restrictions. Last Friday, the UK Government cleared just 12 destinations for quarantine-free tourist trips for Britons from May 17.

However, many of the destinations are remote islands or have very strict entry measures or blanket bans on UK tourists, further reducing the list of options.

Portugal and Gibraltar are the only countries on the 'green list' that most Britons will realistically be able to visit for a warm weather holiday this month.

You can technically also go on holiday to 'amber list' and 'red list' countries again too, but you will need to complete a period of quarantine as follows:

For amber list, you must quarantine at home for ten days on your return and take a PCR test on days two and eight - as well as a lateral flow test before the return flight.

Or there is an alternative option that you could pay for an additional 'Test to Release' on day five to end self-isolation early. There is also a chance the country turns red.

Those returning from a red list country must stay in a government-approved quarantine hotel for 11 nights upon their return at a cost of £1,750.

Will there be a new limit on numbers?

Yes. Up to 30 people will now be able to attend weddings. This limit will also apply to other types of significant life events including bar mitzvahs and christenings.

Will funerals also now be limited to 30 people?

No. There will now be no limit of the number of mourners at funerals, although the venue must operate in a socially distanced way and within capacity guidelines.

Travellers arrive at London Heathrow Airport on May 3. Non-essential travel is set to reopen

Travellers arrive at London Heathrow Airport on May 3. Non-essential travel is set to reopen

Can you stay overnight somewhere with people from another family?

Yes. The rest of the accommodation sector will now reopen, including hotels, hostels and B&Bs - and people from different households can share the same room.

Up until May 17, if you want to stay at a hotel or self-catering accommodation, you must only do so with members of your own household or support bubble.

Can I go to indoor sport classes now?

Yes. All indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will be allowed again, five weeks after gyms were allowed to reopen under step two on April 12.

Will closed parts of leisure centres now be allowed to reopen?

Yes. Saunas and steam rooms will now be allowed to reopen, following on from swimming pools and gyms on April 12.

There will be no more limits on mourners at funerals. Above: File picture of a funeral last July

There will be no more limits on mourners at funerals. Above: File picture of a funeral last July

Will there be limits on numbers in support groups?

Yes. The Government has said 30 people will now be able to attend a support group or parent and child group. The limit does not include children aged under five.

Will restrictions on care home visiting be changed?

Yes. Care home visiting will be eased further, with residents able to have up to five named visitors and more freedom to make 'low risk visits' out of the home.

Will the guidance on working from home change?

No. People are still being advised to 'continue to work from home where they can'.

Hugs with family and friends will be allowed again from May 17 (file picture posed by models)

Hugs with family and friends will be allowed again from May 17 (file picture posed by models)

What is the exact time that the rules change on May 17?

Unconfirmed. This is not yet clear, but the April 12 rule change towards step two came in at midnight, so it is likely this will be the same for May 18.

Are there businesses that still cannot reopen?

Yes. Nightclubs are the only businesses that must remain shut until at least June 21.

Is there a confirmed date for when all Covid rules will cease?

Not yet. The Government hopes that on June 21 it will be able to drop all legal limits on social contact, but this will be confirmed nearer the time.

Before this date, the Government will complete a review of social distancing and other long-term measures such as face masks and guidance on working from home.

All university students in England can return to campus next week for in-person teaching (file)

All university students in England can return to campus next week for in-person teaching (file)

Why can we now move into Step 3 on May 17?

The Government has set four tests to further ease restrictions, which have now been met. These are that:

The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully; Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated; Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS; Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

It also comes after the UK Chief Medical Officers confirmed this morning that the UK Covid-19 alert level should move from level four to level three.

 

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SAGE scientists urge caution as Freedom Day dawns: Experts warn hugging is 'high risk' and say they 'won't be going indoors' while Indian variant remains on the rise as raft of lockdown measures end TODAY

By Martin Robinson for MailOnline 

A slew of Boris Johnson's top scientists today warned against socialising indoors and the 'high risk' of hugging friends with the Indian variant on the rise despite Britons now being free to go back inside pubs, restaurants and cinemas as well as stay with friends for the first time since Christmas. 

The Prime Minister has also urged families to adopt a 'heavy dose of caution' and a minister encouraged revellers to avoid 'excessive drinking' amid an eight per cent rise in infections in a week and concerns the total scrapping of restrictions on June 21 is under threat. 

In Bolton, a hotspot for the Indian variant, thousands more people than usual are being jabbed every day, with queues snaking outside health centres again today, as officials try to suppress the virus in an area where vaccine hesitancy has hampered efforts to slow its spread.

Last night thousands of people queued across the UK to enjoy a drink with friends inside pubs and bars after midnight, while this morning around 20 flights took off for Portugal as holidays became legal again and people enjoyed a pint and a meal inside for the first time in almost six months. Theatres, cinemas and museums can also open their doors again this morning. 

But Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and a senior member of the SAGE committee, said today that he would not meet indoors 'at the moment', despite millions of people now having the opportunity to do so.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I think it is reasonable to just be sensible about knowing where transmission is occurring, mostly indoors, mostly in larger gatherings indoors with lots of different people, different families, different communities, and I would just restrict that at the moment personally.' But he added: 'I don't think it's unreasonable to lift the restrictions - we do need to lift the restrictions at some point, we've been in restrictions now for a very long time.'

Hugging is a 'high-risk procedure', Professor Peter Openshaw said. The professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, who is a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), told BBC Breakfast: 'Some of us are quite happy not to be hugging and kissing many times on the cheek. This is a high-risk procedure, I would say in medical terms and I would certainly not be embracing people closely. I think you can greet people perfectly well at a distance with a smile and a kind word.'

Referring to today's new freedoms, Professor Sir Mark Walport, England's former chief scientific adviser who also sits on SAGE, claimed that just because people are legally allowed to do something doesn't mean they should. He told the Guardian: 'My personal judgement is that I will do things outside as far as possible. My advice is that just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean you should.' 

SAGE adviser Graham Medley, professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, suggested people should avoid going to pubs or restaurants in areas with low vaccine uptake or high Indian variant case numbers.

He told LBC Radio he would only dine indoors if the establishment 'was suitably organised and it looked okay and was in an area of low prevalence and the clientele

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