Customers enjoy earning morning drink in beer gardens as Sheffield pubs reopen

Sheffield drinkers enjoyed their first pint in a pub for months as England takes it next step on the roadmap out of lockdown.

Pubs across Sheffield reopened this morning, while others will be waiting until May 17 when customers are allowed to meet back indoors.

Beer gardens are allowed to reopen to six people and some people in Sheffield have wasted no time in flocking to their local.

Sheffield Waterworks was full of customers enjoying their first drink at a pub, despite the freezing temperatures.

Customers at a Sheffield beer garden

Boris Johnson urged the nation to “behave responsibly” as life took another step back towards normality, with indoor gyms, swimming pools, nail salons and zoos also welcoming customers.

Despite the relaxation in lockdown rules, social mixing indoors will remain heavily restricted, with around two in five adults yet to receive their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and the vast majority yet to get both.

The Prime Minister urged caution during the “major step forward” as a scientist advising the Government warned the rules must be followed to minimise a possible rebound in case numbers.

“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,” Mr Johnson said.

“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.”

The need for continued vigilance was underlined by former government chief scientific adviser Sir David King, who highlighted a surge in cases in Chile despite a successful vaccination campaign.

He told Sky News: “From the point of view of the population itself, we’re all dying to get out of lockdown.

“From the point of view of the epidemic, I think it’s all a little bit more worrying.”

He added: “Chile is a country where the rate of vaccination amongst the population was third highest in the world – they were ahead of us in terms of the number of people who have had the vaccine – and they’re suddenly now into a third wave.”

Modelling by Government advisers in the UK has suggested that Monday’s relaxation will not result in a surge of cases that would put pressure on the NHS, but it is “highly likely” that there will be a further resurgence in hospital admissions and deaths after subsequent steps along the road map out of lockdown.

The fanfare for the easing of restrictions has been muted by the national mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh.

Mr Johnson postponed his celebratory pint and Government communications have been pared back to essential messages after Philip’s death on Friday at the age of 99.

In England, pubs and restaurants have been making changes during lockdown to maximise their ability to serve customers outside.

But the British Beer and Pub Association estimates that just 40% of licensed premises have the space to reopen for outdoor service.