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Crowds were seen flocking into London’s streets and the Underground last night on the first night after the introduction of the 10pm curfew.

Video footage shows a busy Oxford Circus as a strict closing time for pubs and restaurants meant revellers were all forced to go home at the same time.

One witness described the Tubes as ‘the busiest I’ve seen in central London for months’ as everyone ‘rolled onto the streets’ with no staggered leaving times.

Police officers across the city were seen enforcing the new coronavirus restrictions as venue staff cleared tables and chairs off the streets.

Deputy assistant commissioner Matt Twist, who is leading the Met’s response to the pandemic, said the ‘vast majority of Londoners’ have stuck to the rules and ‘responded positively to the unprecedented situation we are in’.

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‘We urge the public to continue to report serious breaches to us via the 101 telephone system or using our online reporting system,’ he added.

‘However, we should all bear in mind that there are a number of exemptions to the rules which may apply to any situation so an apparent breach may not be what it appears and not every call may generate an immediate police response.

‘Additionally, demands on the Met from crime, non-Covid related anti-social behaviour and protests are returning to pre-Covid levels so we will continue to respond to these alongside the pandemic in order to keep Londoners safe.’ 


Video footage showed a very busy Oxford Circus last night as everyone headed for the Tube (Picture: @kirstylewis6 / Twitter)

Oxford Circus rammed as everyone attempts to get on Tube at same time due to curfew https://twitter.com/kirstylewis6/status/1309244883023126530
One witness described the Tubes as ‘the busiest I’ve seen in central London for months’ (Picture: @kirstylewis6 / Twitter)

Deputy Twist thanked people for being compliant but warned that there is a ‘renewed need for everyone to do everything they can to minimise the risk of transmission of what is a potentially deadly disease’.

He said police would be firm with people who ‘refuse to comply’ with new laws and ‘deliberately place communities at risk’.

A sign at a bar in Soho told customers enjoying their last drink to ‘Get Out to Help Out’ in a dig to how quickly the rules have changed since people were encouraged to visit their local pubs and restaurants under ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ in August.

Revellers across England and Wales, including university students, were seen being turfed out of pubs and restaurants by police as the new curfew came into force last night.


People finish their drinks in the street while the bars are being emptied in Soho, in central London on September 24, 2020, on the first day of the new earlier closing times for pubs and bars in England and Wales, introduced to combat the spread of the coronavirus. - Britain has tightened restrictions to stem a surge of coronavirus cases, ordering pubs to close early and advising people to go back to working from home to prevent a second national lockdown. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
People finishing their drinks in the street while the bars are emptied in Soho, on the first day of the new earlier closing times for pubs and bars (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

A sign is pictured in Soho, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, September 24, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A sign at a bar in Soho told customers enjoying their last drink to ‘Get Out to Help Out’ (Picture: Reuters)

Customers and staff must also now wear face masks at all times in pubs and restaurants except when sitting down to eat or drink.

Boris Johnson announced the strict new measures on Tuesday while warning the public that the UK is at a ‘perilous turning point’ in the battle with Covid-19.

He abandoned efforts to get more workers back into offices and added the restrictions could last for six months, taking them well beyond Christmas, unless progress is made.

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But the effectiveness of the new measures have been questioned after Cabinet minister Michael Gove admitted it was fine to carry on drinking at someone else’s home after the curfew kicks in, as long as groups stick to the ‘rule of six’.

Further restrictions, including a second national lockdown, are feared as infection rates continue to soar.

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Source: Metro