Pubs in England can open from 6am tomorrow morning as drinkers return for ‘Super Saturday’ after more than three months of lockdown.
Some landlords had planned to throw open their doors as the clock struck midnight on July 4, but new government regulations prohibit pub-goers from having their first pint until after sunrise.
All pubs still must adhere to licensing laws and it will depend on the licence that each pub has as to when they can serve alcohol.
Downing Street has confirmed the coronavirus regulations will not limit the amount of time people can spend in pubs and restaurants.
The prime minister’s official spokesman said: ‘The regulations also keep in place a list of premises that must remain closed and that includes nightclubs, nail bars and salons, indoor play areas, gyms, conference centres and exhibition halls.
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‘Those regulations mostly come into force at 12.01am on Saturday July 4.
‘The reopening of pubs and bars specifically comes into force at 6am. That would just be in the event anybody would attempt to try to open at midnight.’
The full set of regulations is due to be published later this afternoon and is expected to place a 30-person limit on gatherings at home and in outdoor settings deemed unsafe.
The two-household rule for indoor or outdoor meetings will remain in place, with the 30-person limit designed to stop mass gatherings.
Boris Johnson’s spokesman added: ‘The reason for setting the figure for 30 is we do have to put a number into law and that is to provide police with the powers that they need to break up a rave or some other large gathering which is clearly irresponsible and in breach of the social distancing rules.’
Leicester, which became the first UK city to go into local lockdown this week, will be subject to a separate set of regulations also published later today.
Mr Johnson has urged the public not to ‘blow’ the progress the country has made in battling the pandemic, amid fears that the reopening of pubs and restaurants could spur a rise in cases.
While gyms remain closed, the Tory leader said today they should be able to reopen within ‘a couple of weeks’.
Speaking on LBC this morning, he added that he intends to get theatres open ‘as fast as we possibly can’.
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