Health secretary Matt Hancock has lauded the behaviour of the “vast majority” of people in England who went out to celebrate the reopening of pubs and restaurants yesterday.
Scenes of city centres busy with revellers were captured across England yesterday in what was widely dubbed as “super Saturday”.
Concerns were raised by some that social distancing was not adhered to, with the Police Federation of England and Wales chair saying it was impossible to enforce the rules on drunk people.
John Apter tweeted that he had seen in Southampton “naked men, possession of class A drugs, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights [and] more angry drunks”.
He added: “What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t/won’t socially distance.”
However, Hancock told Sky News today that he was happy with the behaviour of most people who celebrated.
“From what I’ve seen, although there’s some pictures to the contrary, very, very largely people have acted responsibly,” he said.
“So overall I’m pleased with what happened yesterday. It was really good to see people out and about and largely, very largely, social distancing.
“People should enjoy summer safely, and of course the emphasis is both on enjoy and safely.”
Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Friday about the easing of the lockdown, telling people “not to overdo it”.
Some had criticised the government for lifting the lockdown while the number of daily Covid-19 deaths was still relatively high compared to other countries in Europe.
Leicester has also had to remain in a local lockdown, after a surge in infections.
Hancock said that the rate of infection was low enough to ease lockdown restrictions.
“We have got this virus getting right under control, the number of new infections is under 600 on the last data, so it is really coming down in terms of the number of positive cases that we’re finding and that is good news,” he said.
“But we’ve just got to have the resilience and resolve to stick at it and to be very careful in how we enjoy those new freedoms.”