Pubs in England can re-open from 6am on Saturday, 10 Downing Street has said, preventing some landlords from pouring the first pint at midnight, but allowing some to open as soon as the sun rises.
The regulations signed off by health secretary Matt Hancock are also expected to place a 30-person limit on gatherings at home and outdoors in settings not deemed Covid-secure.
The prime minister’s official spokesperson said: ‘What they do is put in place the 30-person limit on gatherings in private dwellings and outdoor spaces where not in a Covid 19-secure environment.
‘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.
‘Those regulations mostly come into force at 12.01am on Saturday July 4.
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‘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.’
Typical licensing conditions will still apply, so pubs can only open at the time they normally have permission for.
The BrewDog chain of pubs was on Friday cancelling events after the new rules were reported.
The department was accused of sending ‘the most tone-deaf tweet in history’ by journalist Piers Morgan, who said: ’65k people dead, the economy catering, millions facing unemployment … and the Treasury wants us all to go out on the piss & celebrate.’
A Treasury source said: ‘We got it wrong on this and the tweet was quickly removed.’
In a radio interview Johnson urged Britons to ‘enjoy summer sensibly’ after criticism for re-opening pubs on one of the busier days of the week.Some have claimed it will lead to more pressure on the NHS at an already busy time for the health service due to the coronavirus pandemic.