GASPING punters will sink 15million pints from 6am on Saturday when England’s pubs reopen for the first time in four months.
Breakfast bevvies will kick off a Super Saturday of the nation getting back to business.
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Boris Johnson urged drinkers not to get too hammered, saying they should “enjoy summer safely”.
He pledged to buy a beer this weekend but warned: “We are not out of the woods yet.”
Prince William sank a pint of cider at his local on Friday to show support for the hospitality industry.
Experts reckon 23,000 pubs will reopen under metre-plus social distancing rules.
Some had hoped to open doors when the latest lockdown-easing measures began at midnight.
But to prevent all-night parties No10 said punters could only be served from 6am.
Cafés, hairdressers, restaurants, cinemas and theme parks are also back on Saturday in a major boost to the nation’s morale.
All will see big changes to the norm.
Gregg Grundy, landlord of The Egremont in Worthing, West Sussex, said: “It’s rise and shine for the return of pubs. The first sip is going to be a cracker.
“I’ll be raring to go from 6am and can’t wait to serve ice-cold pints to my loyal customers in a new dawn for the industry.”
Early in lockdown industry chiefs warned 19,000 pubs could close for ever.
The PM warned the economy depended on “every single one of us acting responsibly”.
He added: “The virus is still with us as Leicester’s spike has shown.”
But Boris said he hopes to avoid closing pubs again if infection rates rise — adding he preferred to target local outbreaks.
He stressed: “You should wear a face covering when in a crowded space with people you don’t normally come into contact with.”
Chief Medical Officer Prof Chris Whitty said pubs are “great socially but also a great thing from the virus’ point of view of spreading”.
A clear and disciplined approach to distancing was vital, he said.
Police chiefs in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset made a U-turn on an earlier comment that drinkers would be limited to two hours in pubs before being kicked out.
Met Commander Bas Javid urged caution, saying: “It is so important we don’t lose track of how far we have all come.
"We remain in a health crisis and we all have an essential part in helping to minimise the spread.”
Police in Leicester will have more officers on duty than New Year’s Eve to maintain the city lockdown and support pubs restaurants outside the zone.
Chief constable Simon Coles said people who cross lockdown lines to visit pubs face £100 fines.
Emma Shepherd, of the Blue Ball Inn, Worrall, Sheffield, said: “It’s a huge relief to reopen. We’ve been busy renovating in lockdown and now have a kitchen for the first time, plus a new bar.
“We’ve had lots of interest from the locals so we can’t wait to show them our new and improved, but above all safe, pub.”
There were last-minute touches to Beaufort House champagne bar in Chelsea, West London.
Tom Ledsham, at The New Inn in Clapham, North Yorks, said: “It’s been all hands on deck.
"We’ll have a new table service in operation as well as trialling a new app where customers can make orders digitally — which means no more queuing at the bar.
“We have lots of signage, security and sanitiser to keep people safe.
“Now we just need the punters to keep coming back.”
Wetherspoons will open 750 pubs from 8am. Greene King pubs will wait until Monday.
Many punters could wait until next week for their first pint.
Data from campaign group Long Live The Local suggests 43 per cent of people are planning a pub trip within the month.
They are most looking forward to meeting pals, pub grub and a “sense of normality”.
The group’s David Cunningham urged people to book tables and stick to safety measures.
He said: “Pubs need our support now more than ever.
“Some things may be a little different but all the great things we have missed so much in lockdown — a fresh pint, great food and community will be the same.”
Prince William bought his pint at the 600-year-old Rose & Crown near his Anmer Hall home in Norfolk.
He joked: “First customer?” as he was greeted by landlords Anthony and Jeannette Goodrich.
The future king sanitised his hands before ordering a £4.15 pint of Aspall Draught Cyder and plate of chips.
He waited in the garden and forgot to pay at first.
He later used his card but got the chips on the house.
William asked staff: “Are you worried about people getting out of hand? I guess it’s more of a problem with the larger chains.
"I’m sure people will want to explore locally. I don’t think they’ll go far afield."
Prince Charles also backed the trade, saying recent months had been “exceptionally difficult”.
He added: “Hospitality connects people and enables them to make wonderful memories — be it over a pint, a special meal or an overnight stay to explore new places. All these have been dearly missed.”
New rules you need to know
PUBS: BOOZERS can open from 6am to serve their first pints in more than three months and customers will find a big change from before lockdown.
There will be screens to protect staff and between tables, which must be at least a metre apart, and one-way systems with floor markings.
Table service or app ordering will be the norm. Some pubs may let you approach the bar but you can’t linger.
Up to six can sit together outside but inside you can’t mix with another household.
Live music is banned and background music must be low so people don’t have to shout. Booking your table in advance will be required at many bars.
EATING OUT: CAFES and restaurants can also reopen today, both indoors and outdoors, as long as social distancing is possible.
All the rules about who can gather together in bars will also apply while dining out, and they will also have perspex screens and one-way systems for moving around.
Menus will be more limited than usual, most restaurants will take bookings only and only table service is allowed.
Bottles of ketchup and mayonnaise will be replaced by small individual sachets.
Contactless or app payment will be compulsory in most places and customers will have to leave contact details with the venue so they can be traced if need be over the next 21 days.
SHOWCASE is the only chain reopening all its cinemas today.
The others are opening a few sites at a time.
There will be allocated seats, online booking and staggered film times to cut lobby crowds.
There will be one-way systems and audiences will be spaced well apart.
You will have to download tickets on arrival.
WEDDINGS: MARRIAGES and civil partnerships are allowed with a limit of 30 people, including the couple, witnesses and officiants.
Small socially-distanced celebrations should take the place of receptions.
Only two households can be close indoors and up to six people outdoors.
It’s likely to mean that the bride’s father can’t walk her down the aisle.
BEAUTY SERVICES: BARBERS and hairdressers can reopen today and stylists can visit your home.
But nail bars, spas, waxing studios, massage parlours, tattoo and piercing studios stay shut.
Everything will be appointment-only and there will be health questionnaires to fill in.
Staff will use face masks and clients are expected to wear their own.
There will be no refreshments or magazines and many places will have a “no gossip” policy to keep breathing gentle.
DAYS OUT: THEME parks, adventure parks and funfairs can open along with zoos and safari parks. But water parks and water rides have to stay closed.
Tickets should be bought online and a face covering is needed.
Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures urge everyone but kids under six to wear them all the time.
Numbers will be limited for distancing, including empty rows on rides.
Outdoor play parks, skate parks and gyms can open, plus amusement arcades and outdoor skating rinks.
Indoor gyms, soft play bowling alleys, dance studios, and pools have to stay shut.
Only kids from the same household or “bubble” can use play equipment at the same time.
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