Nigel Farage claimed to be the first customer in to his local pub today after it opened its doors to the public at 12pm.
Wearing a wax jacket and a checked shirt, the former UKIP leader posted a picture of himself on Twitter as he enjoyed his first sip of lager.
He captioned the photograph: “12 o’clock, first customer in. Love it,” suggesting he was the first punter through the doors when the pub reopened today.
Unsurprisingly, his Twitter followers had mixed opinions, with some claiming Nigel was only first in because others were avoiding anywhere he might go to drink.
One wrote: “First customer? I reckon everyone else has seen your tweet and is avoiding that pub.”
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Farage’s tweet comes as the UK enjoys further lifting of lockdown restrictions today, a day dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ as many pubs and restaurants begin to open their doors.
Early this morning, Wetherspoons customers were queuing outside their local watering holes, some in the early hours of the morning in a bid to be front of the queue for the first pint.
Others came off late shifts and headed straight to the pub for a full English breakfast, washed down with a beer.
Wetherspoons has revealed a number of rules that customers will have to observe going forward, including queuing up outside, operating a ‘one in, one out policy’ and ordering food and drinks on the company’s app to avoid unnecessary contact with staff.
Menus will be one use only, after which they will have to be recycled.
Hand sanitiser stations have been set up around the pub and tables have been set out specifically according to social distancing rules, or with ‘sneeze screens’ as added protection.
Large groups will not be permitted, instead people can gather with members of only one other household.
JD Wetherspoon chairman, Tim Martin, said: “We are extremely pleased that pubs are reopening on 4 July after a long hiatus.”
Under new guidelines, staff will have to take part in temperature checks on arrival and hundreds more workers will be hired to help keep branches sanitised.
A total of £11million will be invested to introduce safety screens at counters – while two new full time workers will be hired per branch.
Another big pub chain decided against opening its 1,700 premises today.
Greene King, which runs Hungry Horses, Chef and Brewers, Wacky Warehouses and other large brands, will instead conduct a phased reopening of its pubs and restaurants.
The first of its pubs and restaurants will reopen on Monday July 6, Yorkshire Live reports.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “We welcome the news that pubs, alongside other hospitality venues, can reopen from next month. Pubs play an important role at the very heart of their communities and have been sorely missed by customers as well as those who work in them.
“We look forward to welcoming back customers to our pubs and providing that great hospitable pub experience we all love.”
Meanwhile, customers can expect price hikes as pubs try to recoup their losses and finance all the extra PPE and health and safety measures they have put in place.
Wetherspoons confirmed that beer, spirits and wine will be going up by 10p, while food items will increase by 20p.
In Samuel Smiths pubs, the ramped up prices are a little more eye-watering, with their lagers now £1 more expensive than before lockdown.