- Title: Brits head back to the pub as COVID lockdown eases
- Date: 17th May 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MAY 17, 2021) (REUTERS) PINTS OF BEER ON TABLE / MORE BEING BROUGHT TO TABLE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SITTING IN PUB PINT BEING PULLED DRINKS BEING TAKEN TO TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (English) 65-YEAR-OLD RETIREE, DAVE TOWNSEND, SAYING: "People have been stuck indoors, people have been missing their friends. Okay, they opened up outside a month ago, well two weeks ago in this one (pub), but it's not the same. It's great to be back inside the pubs, meeting friends, socialising. That's what it's all about." VARIOUS OF PUB EXTERIOR SIGN READING (English): "ENTRANCE ONLY" MAN SCANNING NHS CONTACT TRACING APP VARIOUS OF PEOPLE FILLING OUT CONTACT TRACING FORM PEOPLE SITTING BEHIND SCREENS PUT UP IN PUB FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING (SOUNDBITE) (English) 27-YEAR-OLD PUB WORKER, AJ VAITIEKUTE, SAYING: "I think as people we just need human interaction, which is nice to have in the pub. Being stuck at home is kind of not as fun as we thought it would be so it's actually quite fun to be amongst other people and just have an interaction, rather than just being at home, stuck on your own." STAFF MEMBER PULLING PINT 69-YEAR-OLD RETIREE, BILL GALLOP (RIGHT) AND FRIENDS RAISING A TOAST (SOUNDBITE) (English) 69-YEAR-OLD RETIREE, BILL GALLOP, SAYING: "We should never have been locked out. We love this pub - the bar staff, the governor, the landlady, are all brilliant people, and we really really missed it." DRINK BEING PULLED MAN READING NEWSPAPER CORONAVIRUS SAFETY SIGN READING (English): "WELCOME BACK" INTERIOR OF PUB
- Embargoed: 31st May 2021 18:42
- Keywords: COVID-19 London coronavirus dining lifting lockdown pandemic pub restaurant rule of six
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Europe,Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001EDCORBB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Pints of beer were enjoyed in the familiar surroundings of local pubs on Monday (May 17) as swathes of the British economy reopened as part of the government's latest easing of coronavirus lockdown measures.
While restrictions differ across England, Scotland and Wales, most Brits were free once again to meet their friends at a pub or bar, sit down to an indoor meal or visit the cinema.
A series of lockdowns imposed by the government to combat the spread of COVID-19 have represented the strictest restrictions in peacetime history.
The biggest public health crisis in a century was accompanied by a drastic extension of state power; during England's lockdowns police broke up parties and protests alike, shut down religious services and handed out fines of up to 10,000 pounds ($14,000) to youngsters for partying.
As freedom beckons once more, there is excitement - albeit with some anxiety ahead of a planned final easing of restrictions on June 21.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday (May 14) warned that the spread of a coronavirus variant first identified in India meant that the final UK reopening could be delayed.
There is growing concern about B.1.617.2, which British scientific advisers say will become the dominant variant in the United Kingdom and which is more transmissible than B.1.1.7, the variant first identified in Kent, England.
Broadly in England, gatherings of up to 30 people are now allowed outdoors, while six people or two families will be permitted to meet indoors; cafes, bars and restaurants will reopen for indoor service; care home residents will be allowed to have five visitors; and face coverings will no longer be compulsory in schools.
(Production: Natalie Thomas, Ben Dangerfield)
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