Matt Hancock says most people ‘acted responsibly’ defending Super Saturday reopening

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has defended the government reopening pubs and restaurants on Saturday.

Thousands of people in England took advantage of their new freedoms yesterday, but trouble flared up in some parts of the country.

Police also expressed concern after pictures emerged of revellers packed in close together in city centres across the country.

Asked about the reopening, Mr Hancock told Sky News: “Largely, although there are some pictures to the contrary, people have acted responsibly.

“Overall I am pleased with what happened yesterday,” he added.

Mr Hancock said he had seen images of people behaving “to the contrary” and stressed that people should act responsibly.

Mr Hancock 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.”

He added: “But of course we’ll take action when we need to when… if the minority break the rules.”

On those who did not social distance, Mr Hancock said: “Well we’ll of course keep this very closely under review, and you’ve seen for instance in Leicester but also in other places that we don’t shirk from bringing in more drastic measures if that is what’s needed to control the virus.”



Brits hitting the streets last night



A man in Manchester enjoys a drink as pubs reopened

Just hours earlier a senior police union official warned that drunk people are unable to properly socially distance.

Police Fed chair John Apter said it was “crystal clear” revellers would not adhere to the one metre plus rule as restrictions were eased on Saturday.



People flooded into some of London’s most popular areas, pictured here Soho



Most people who went out socially distanced responsibly – but pictures of crowds emerged

Professor Chris Whitty said the pandemic “is a long way from gone” and urged the public to follow social-distancing rules as pubs and restaurants reopened.

But images from London’s Soho showed packed streets into the early hours of Sunday.

Mr Apter, who was on shift in Southampton where he dealt with “naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks”, said: “What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t/won’t socially distance.

“It was a busy night but the shift managed to cope. I know other areas have had issues with officers being assaulted.”

There was disorder in north Nottinghamshire too, where four people were arrested and several pubs decided to close after alcohol related anti-social behaviour.

A major easing of lockdown measures in England saw pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas opening their doors again under modified social distancing regulations.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Government experts urged people to stick to the rules to avoid creating a second wave of coronavirus.

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