TWO hero nurses were among the first back in pubs on “Super Saturday” today — as they sank a cider before heading home for a kip.
An estimated 15million pints were downed as boozers reopened for the first time in nearly four months.
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Nurses Alex Macey and Becky Nolan had just finished a gruelling night shift when they were served their drinks at 9am.
As she sipped a strawberry and lime Kopparberg cider, Alex, 21, said: “It’s really exciting. We thought it was a perfect way to finish off our night shift.
“We wanted to be the first ones.”
Becky, 21, who had a Magners, and Alex were among the early customers at the Fox on the Hill pub in Camberwell, South London.
The Wetherspoons opened at 8am, with alcohol served from 9am.
Flatmates Will Moore and Cara McCabe, both 23, were first in the queue — for breakfast.
Will said: “We thought, ‘Why not?’ It’s a bit of an event isn’t it? I’ve been dreaming about it.”
Pubs nationwide now look a lot different to before they closed in March — with one-way systems, masked staff, screens, and customers ordering drinks via apps.
But the changes — and some price hikes — have not dampened people’s enthusiasm.
Andrew Slawinski, 54, had a Guinness at 9am — and said his first pub pint in more than three months was “gorgeous”.
Supping it at the Toll Gate in Turnpike Lane, North London, he added: “It’s like winning the League.”
A group of five pals were also delighted to get together and raise a glass at the Shakespeare’s Head in Holborn, central London.
Boris Johnson today urged people to “stick to the rules” as barbers, restaurants and a string of other venues reopened.
He said: “We’ve worked so hard and together saved so many lives.”
The PM reminded people they must “keep apart from others and wash your hands several times”.
One punter took advantage of the mass lockdown easing by having a haircut and a pint before 10am.
Carpenter Joe Munday, 19, of Ashford, Kent, got a trim at Razor Room then went to the County Hotel with two friends.
He said: “It’s nice to be able to do this again. However, it’s all a bit strange. Being in the pub feels like being in a posh restaurant.”
One boozer managed to open despite a car crashing into it at 2am.
Ray Perkins, the landlord at The Swan Inn at Little Chart, Kent, said: “It was absolutely devastating but we’ve had everybody rally round and clear up the bar.”
Customers at the Peaky Blinder in Birmingham could watch the football — but with the sound off.
Manager Helen Morgan said: “We’ve been told if the sound is on customers are more likely to shout at the telly and that has the potential for spreading saliva.”
At the Square Peg nearby, punters had to stand on socially- distanced circles at the bar to place their order.
But Dominic Charles, 50, said: “I’ve been told off four times already and I’ve only just finished my first drink.
“I was shouted at for failing to stand on the circle, then I was told off for touching an empty chair.
“When my drink finished, I was told that the table was needed. It doesn’t feel very relaxing.”
Poor weather in Newcastle did not stop a long queue forming outside the Black Garter by 9.30am.
One punter, lorry driver Justin Evans, 42, was delighted to be out with his family.
He said: “I have been working all the way through, delivering reels of paper to make labels for Covid-19 tests.
“My son has just turned 18 and passed his assessment to join the British Army. It’s fantastic that we have been able to come out.”
In Manchester, a washout curbed an anticipated rush to pub gardens.
But punters in the Tib Street Tavern watched the Derby versus Nottingham Forest game on the box.
Most chains were using smartphone apps for ordering — and the tech got the thumbs-up from many.
Retired IT specialist Roy Carson used one to order at the King’s Tun in Kingston-upon-Thames, South West London.
He said: “I got my pint quicker than I would by going to the bar and I could really get to like table service.
“People are obviously a lot more cautious but anything that keeps us safe and in the pub is good.”
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