Revellers expected to spend millions this Friday after pubs reopen outside

16 April 2021, 15:20

People enjoying drinks in Carnaby Street area
People enjoying drinks in Carnaby Street area. Picture: PA

By Harriet Whitehead

On the first weekend night since pubs reopened this Monday, punters are expected to spend millions at outside hospitality venues.

This Friday is the first since pubs reopened as part of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops have all been able to return to business with a few strict rules in place, including all drinks and food having to be served outside while following the rule of six.

Brits are reportedly set to drink five million pints on Friday, as it marks the first Friday with pubs open across England since October last year. This was when Tier 3 pub shutdowns began to effect some areas.

Some pub goers have been concerned about whether tables will all be booked up, and have been encouraged to find independent and local pubs which may not have booking systems. Of Wetherspoon’s 394 reopened pubs, all are operating on a first-come, first-served basis.

READ MORE: Pubs, restaurants and offices must be well ventilated to halt covid spread, doctors warn

Places serving alcohol no longer need to serve substantial meals with drinks, and the curfew has been removed.

A £300 million spending frenzy is also expected to hit the West End this weekend, as Londoners make the most of their new found freedoms.

The Centre for Retail Research said it expected retail and hospitality spending across London to reach close to £170 million on Saturday and around £130 million on Sunday with much of that spent in the previously deserted West End.

Crowds fill tables in Old Compton Street in Soho
Crowds fill tables in Old Compton Street in Soho. Picture: PA

In England, doors to pubs and restaurants should be able to open as normal from the 17th May along with other lockdown restrictions easing.

This, like with all the steps out of the Covid lockdown, is determined by how successful the government’s four tests are passed like the coronavirus rates and the vaccine rollout.

There are also currently discussions around needing vaccine passports for pubs which have yet to be confirmed.