Crowds of revellers have flocked to the streets of London to drink and party after coronavirus restrictions were relaxed.
England loosened restrictions on the weekend and the rush to party was quickly dubbed “Super Saturday”.
About 23,000 pubs reopened under the new metre-plus social distancing rules.
Video from entertainment district of Soho showed people close together, apparently ignoring social distancing guidelines.
“Soho in London is jammers, mask on and home time for me. Absolute madness,” Stephen Lowe wrote in Twitter, posting a video that has been seen by millions of people.
London’s Metropolitan Police urged people to follow government guidelines, writing: “We’re urging everyone to remember the current health crisis and comply with the regulations to keep everyone safe.
“Please observe social distancing and continue to work with our officers during this challenging time.”
The chairman of the Police Federation John Apter said he dealt with “naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks”.
“What was crystal clear is that drunk people can’t or won’t socially distance,” he said.
Punters were expected to sink 15 million pints from 6am Saturday as England’s pubs reopened.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier threatened another lockdown if people were “reckless” and ruined Super Saturday by not following the rules.
“Do not undo the sacrifices you have made with reckless behaviour,” he said.
“We do not want to see businesses have to close again.”
He also urged drinkers not to get too hammered, saying they should “enjoy summer safely”.
The Sun reported Prince William quaffed a pint of cider at his local on Friday to show support for the UK’s struggling hospitality industry.
Cafés, hairdressers, restaurants, cinemas and theme parks will also reopen.
It comes as the government took the dramatic step to put the East Midlands city of Leicester into lockdown.
The decision was made after was national health experts were sent to the city and reported widespread flouting of social-distancing measures.
The city faces the prospect of remaining in a heightened state of summer lockdown as pubs and restaurants reopen across the rest of England.
Leicestershire police, fearing that some people will seek to defy the restrictions, said that more officers would be on duty this weekend than during New Year’s Eve.
On Leicester’s “golden mile”, usually the heartbeat of Indian culture and business, signs saying “Great to have you back in Leicester” were being replaced by “Stay safe and healthy” warnings.
Among the cluster of jewellery stores, sweet shops and fashion boutiques is Bobby’s, a vegetarian restaurant that has served the Gujarati community since 1976.
Enna and Dharmesh Lakhani, who run the business, had been making preparations to reopen this weekend. Mrs Lakhani, 51, said: “It’s been devastating. We had our staff training done, our disposable menus ready. Now we don’t know what to do.”
Originally published as ‘Absolute madness’ in London