Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers re-opened in England for the first time in three months on what the media have called the "Super Saturday" of restrictions being eased.
Pubs were allowed to start serving from 6 a.m., sparking worries of over-indulgence. The Holland Tringham pub in south London, part of the JD Wetherspoon chain, opened at 8 a.m. and was about three-quarters full by 11.20 am.
Pub-goers like 56-year-old Jim Martin were delighted:
"It's lovely to have a nice pint. I don't think it's before time. I know it was bad, the coronavirus and things like that, but it's beautiful just to get back and have a pint - because I haven't seen him (points to his friend). You know, meet up with your friends and whatever. So it's been good. Really good."
Police chiefs are worried the reopening of pubs could fuel drunken and irresponsible behavior, while hospitals have been warned to prepare for a New Year's Eve-style weekend.
Britain -- the worst-hit European country -- has more than 300,000 cases of coronavirus infections and an official death toll of 44,131. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on people to behave responsibly and respect social distancing regulations as the risk of a resurgence of coronavirus remains.
Mindful of an economy that has been hit due to the lockdown, he also stressed the importance of supporting businesses.
The Sun newspaper predicted that 15 million pints or 8.5 million liters of beer would be drunk in England on Saturday, though some pub-goers may be deterred by the unsettled weather.
The ones who do go out may find the atmosphere rather different.
Numbers are limited, no one can stand at the bar and there will be no live music. Patrons will also have to give their details to allow tracers to identify them if anyone later tests positive.