Drinkers hit pubs by 8.30am to get first pint after lockdown ends

Drinkers hit the pubs early this morning to toast the end of England’s second national lockdown with a freshly-pulled pint.

Many customers were settled at tables with breakfast beers by 8.30am as boozers welcomed them back for what has been named ‘Wild Wednesday’.

Around 32 million people are now living under tier two restrictions which means pubs and restaurants must only sell alcohol with a ‘substantial meal’.

Pubgoers were quick to get on board with the new rule this morning, with some heading out for ‘a cooked breakfast and pint’.

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Some people joked they would be grabbing a scotch egg for their first meal of the day, as ministers continue to bicker over whether the food item just counts as a starter.

Environment Secretary George Eustice spurred chaos when he said he believed a Scotch egg ‘probably would’ count as a substantial meal if there was ‘table service’ at the venue.

A Downing Street spokesperson quickly dismissed this, insisting bar snacks are not included in the definition – but Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove opened up the debate once again when he claimed he would love to ‘scoff a couple of Scotch eggs’ as a ‘substantial meal’.

He wrote: ‘The government has effectively closed all pubs in England, by stealth- possibly for the first time in history.

‘A pub licence, unlike a restaurant licence,  allows you to sell beer, wine and spirits “for consumption on the premises”, without a table meal- and this is now prohibited.

‘The reality is that pubs in tier 3 will be physically shut from 2 December and pubs in tier 2, if they open at all, will be trading as restaurants , not pubs.

‘There are only a tiny number of pubs in tier 1 – and in those you can’t even order at the bar.’

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