Couples have tied the knot and barbers have opened for the first time in months as coronavirus restrictions were eased across England on what has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’.
A major easing of lockdown measures will see pubs, restaurants, bars and cinemas also able to open their doors again under modified social distancing restrictions.
One of the first people in the country to visit a newly-reopened hair salon said it was nice to feel “like normal” again.
Sandra Jacobs was among the first people through the door at Tusk Hair in Camden on Friday night when the north London business opened its doors at midnight.
She added: “My hair was everywhere. I’d been wearing hats to hide it.”
Some couples also have not wasted any time before saying “I do” and two key workers got married just moments after the restrictions lifted.
Care home worker Jennifer Wilson and security guard Louise Arnold, both 22, married at the Peace Garden Pergola in the grounds of Runcorn Town Hall, Cheshire, in what was thought to be the first wedding after the updated Covid-19 guidelines came into force.
Ms Wilson said: “Last week the registry office rang and asked if we wanted to be the first couple in the UK to marry after lockdown, and we just said yes.
Ms Arnold, who works for lorry firm Eddie Stobart, added: “With it having just been Pride month, this felt like something we couldn’t really pass up. Not just for us but for other LGBT people who haven’t been able to get together to celebrate Pride.”
Despite the celebrations, ministers have urged the public not to get carried away.
Pubs were permitted to welcome customers from 6am but research suggests many of them will be keeping the shutters down for now.
Chief executive Michael Kill called for more support for the industry from the Government and said: “Our members feel stuck in a bizarre tug of war between government, licensing and planning regulators and the police.
“But no-one knows which rope to pull and in which direction, leaving businesses stranded in the middle with no way to move forward and out of this mess.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Daily Mail that people were entitled to enjoy themselves at pubs but added: “You could end up behind bars if you break the law.”
He also said he would not “shirk” from shutting pubs and restaurants again, and imposing local lockdowns if needed.
The comments came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people not to “blow” progress in combating the spread of the disease made during the lockdown as he deployed the Government’s new slogan “enjoy summer safely”.
On Friday, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the pandemic “is a long way from gone” as he urged the public to follow social-distancing rules as guidance is eased.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, also warned of the danger of the “superspreading” of Covid-19 occurring in pubs.
“There’s no doubt these are environments whose principal job it is to bring people together, that’s a great thing to do socially but it’s also a great thing from the virus’s point of view.
“Therefore, we do have to have a really clear and really disciplined approach to try and maintain social distancing whilst also enjoying pubs.”