LBC radio caller Gideon furiously lashed out against huge crowds of Londoners gathering outside pubs on Friday night, ahead of the big return to normality for people in England this weekend after weeks of coronavirus lockdown measures. He told Rachel Johnson there was “zero social distancing” as he drove past pubs in the western areas of the capital. He said: “There is absolutely zero social distancing. You’re right, alcohol and coronavirus is not a good mix and we’ve seen that in America.
“The refusal by this government to actually understand what’s happening in other countries and take heed is beyond belief.”
Gideon said that if the government had opened beer gardens “that would have been an entirely different matter”.
He asked, “What was the point in everyone going out and clapping on a Thursday night?”
He then warned: “It only takes one person to cause a pandemic and we’ve seen that across the world, so until we have virtually zero cases it’s not over.”
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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.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned people could end up “behind bars” if they get carried away as pubs across England reopen on what has been dubbed Super Saturday.
A major easing of lockdown measures sees pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas opening their doors again under modified social distancing regulations.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Government experts have urged people to stick to the rules to avoid creating a second wave of coronavirus.
Mr 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.”
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”.
Meanwhile the Health Secretary said he would not “shirk” from shutting pubs and restaurants again and imposing local lockdowns if needed.
He said: “I’m no killjoy, but the virus can still kill. I don’t want to see bars and pubs have to close again. I love going to the pub and enjoy a pint or two.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak urged people to make the most of the easing to boost the economy, claiming the public needs to “eat out to help out”.
He told the Times: “This is a consumption-driven economy; people used to, three months ago, go out with their friends or family to go and have a meal. Or buy a car, or upgrade their house, or move house. Go camping, come up to the Yorkshire Dales and go coast to coast.”
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The comments come after chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the coronavirus pandemic “is a long way from gone” as he urged the public to follow social-distancing rules as the lockdown is eased.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, also warned of the danger of the “superspreading” of Covid-19 occurring in pubs.
At a Downing Street press conference on Friday Prof Whitty said: “None of us believes, and I’m sure nobody watching this believes this is a risk-free next step. It is absolutely not, that is why we have to be really serious about it.
“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.
“And therefore we do have to have a really clear and really disciplined approach to try and maintain social distancing whilst also enjoying pubs.”