Thousands descended upon bars and pubs in the capital for their first Friday night out of the year under eased coronavirus restrictions.
Non-essential shops along with outside restaurant areas, drinking venues and hairdressers reopened on Monday, April 12 as part of the Government’s road map out of lockdown.
Soho in Central London hit the headlines earlier in the week after photos emerged of revellers partying like it was VE Day and not observing social distancing measures.
As the working week pulled to a close, punters headed out in droves on Friday (April 16) with pictures showing packed outdoors areas.
A large police presence was seen in the area and patrols were stepped up for safety and to make sure people were following Covid rules.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, said ahead of the celebrations: “The Met is ready to welcome back people to the streets of London. We will be stepping up our patrols to busy high footfall areas, to look out for everyone’s safety and to disrupt any criminal activity.
“Of course, where we need to take action against those who dangerously flout the rules we will do. While the case rate has declined in London, we have seen the concerning position in northern Europe. It is important that we all stick to the rules so further lockdowns, or restrictions, are avoided.”
As part of the easing of restrictions, the Met will continue a well-established partnership with London’s 32 local councils to enforce breaches of the regulations within licensed premises.
DAC Connors added: “As the shutters open once again on London’s high streets and across London’s hospitality sector, I know the overwhelming majority of business owners will act responsibly.
“Businesses have been hit hard by this pandemic but it is important everyone plays their part in driving down the infection rate further.
“Our joint patrols with councils will continue and if we see unnecessary risks being taken, we will engage, explain the regulations and if needed take action.”