Pub investigated after hundreds queue up for ‘first come first served’ opening
An official enquiry has been launched after a pub’s end-of-lockdown midnight opening drew massive queues that were "not socially distanced" according to reports.
Videos being shared on social media show over 100 people queueing outside The Oak Inn in Coventry late last night ahead of today’s pub reopening.
The pub on Gosford Street near the city’s university, had advertised the special early morning session onFacebook. A post on the pub’s page read: "So excited to be welcoming everyone back just after midnight tonight until 6am. No booking necessary … first come, first served!"
But the excitement was a bit too much for some customers, who could be seen crowded together outside the popular boozer, many of them not wearing masks.
A spokeswoman for Coventry City Council has confirmed that an investigation into the incident has been launched.
She told reporters: "People are beginning to enjoy the easing of restrictions and with the city beginning to reopen non-essential shops and hospitality venues from today, we would like to remind everyone about the importance of following the rules.
"This includes social distancing and staying two metres apart, wearing face coverings in public and washing hands regularly when visiting hospitality venues."
She added: "We will be investigating any venue reported to not be following these rules or having difficulties with large queues or unmanageable amounts of visitors."
Pubs across the country have opened today for the first time in several months, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pleaded for members of the public to "behave responsibly" as they get their first proper pint of the year.
He said: "I'm sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else, it's a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed.
"I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember 'hands, face, space and fresh air' to suppress Covid as we push on with our vaccination programme."
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