Covid: Pub-goers enjoy a pint as venues reopen for indoor drinking at midnight

A waitress serves drinks inside the Showtime Bar in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, as indoor hospitality and entertainment venues reopen to the public

Pub-goers enjoyed their first pint indoors for at least four months as England welcomed the latest easing of lockdown measures.

The Oak Inn in Coventry was among the venues opening their doors at midnight, with owner Darren Lee saying about 100 people had gathered for a drink but he noted the pub was not “overly busy”.

He said the early opening had been “very well received”, adding his locals were “really glad to be back inside – they’re really up for it”.

Bar staff at the Showtime Bar celebrate 23:59 at the Showtime Bar that opened to indoor customers at 00:01 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. Credit: PA

He anticipated larger numbers building throughout the day on Monday and into the evening as people finish worked work.

It was much quieter in the capital, with most venues in south-west London remaining closed ahead of an expected busy day of trading on Monday.

Heavy rain throughout the day on Sunday had eased by midnight, yet there was no sign of eager drinkers in Balham, Clapham and Brixton.

On Sunday Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted it was right to continue with the easing of restrictions despite concerns over the Indian coronavirus variant.

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