Britain lets its hair down on first day of 'freedom'

Britain lets its hair down on first day of ‘freedom’: Clubbers dance into the night after revellers enjoyed the races and 150th birthday bash at reopened Royal Albert Hall after restrictions were eased

  • Final step of roadmap dubbed Freedom Day saw majority of legal restrictions lifted for the first time in months
  • This meant venues no longer required customers to wear face masks or follow social distancing during a visit
  • Britons packed out Windsor race course, the Royal Albert Hall and nightclubs across the country to celebrate 

Britons across the country have celebrated their first day of freedom after the majority of all Covid restrictions were eased.

Windsor races welcomed huge crowds of fans while nightclubs welcomed back revellers and saw dancefloors packed into the night. Meanwhile the Royal Albert Hall opened at full capacity for the first time since March 2020.

In what has been dubbed ‘Freedom Day’, the Government removed almost all the legal restrictions that had been introduced since the start of the pandemic.

Just over four months after setting off on the government’s roadmap, Boris Johnson confirmed the country could finally make its much-awaited last step towards freedom on July 19.

The move means that the laws mandating face masks have been scrapped and social distancing is no longer a legal requirement.

Britons have enjoyed celebrating Freedom Day and the removal of most legal restrictions by hitting dancefloors and music venues across the country. Pictured: The Monday evening crowds at the Astoria nightclub in Portsmouth, Hampshire

The Astoria in Portsmouth attracted 2,500 people for the first full night after their brief 3-hours of opening just after midnight

There were 135 staff members working at Astoria nightclub in Portsmouth, Hampshire, as they welcomed back crowds

Pictured: Meanwhile, revellers in Birmingham headed out in their droves to enjoy the first full night of reopened nightclubs

PRYZM saw huge queues outside the venue which has reopened its doors stretched for almost 300 meters around the block

Clubbers in Birmingham’s Broad Street queued to get in to venues. Pictured: Four 19-year-old women from Solihull queue up

Revellers queue outside nightclubs in Birmingham on Monday night as many clubs opened for the first time in 16 months

Mr Johnson said other countries had experienced ‘particular’ issues with nightclubs. Pictured: Astoria nighclub, Portsmouth

Pictured: Revellers queue for almost 300 meters to get into PRYZM nightclub on Broad Street in Birmingham on Freedom Day

As a result revellers were given the long-awaited green light to party as clubs across the country threw open their doors for the first time in 16 months to celebrate the arrival of ‘Freedom Day’.

In a night described by some as ‘feeling like New Year’, eager party-goers across England piled onto dance floors for the first time since March last year.

Crucially they were allowed to party without being required to provide Covid passports or negative Covid test results. Face masks are also no longer legally required, and with social distancing rules shelved, there are no limits on people attending.

Venues including Fabric, E1, Ministry of Sound and Egg nightclubs in London, Pryzm in Brighton, Powerhouse Night Club in Newcastle and Moon Acre in Dorset re-opened on the stroke of midnight – the very second that most legal restrictions on social contact were removed. 

The partying continued this evening with nightclubs packed out into the early hours. Pictures from Birmingham showed large queues in the city’s Broad Street – a popular nightlife hub.

Both PRYZM and Rosies had huge queues outside, with PRYZM’s stretching round the block for almost 300 meters.

Other nightclubs, including Reflex, Popworld and Players also opened their doors once again to partygoers on what is predicted to be the busiest Monday night of the year.

Meanwhile, the Astoria nightclub in Portsmouth, Hampshire, attracted 2,500 people for the first full night of dancing and fun after their brief 3-hours of opening just after midnight.

Pictured: Racegoers celebrate a winner at Windsor Racecourse on July 19, in Windsor as Brits mark Freedom Day

While Windsor race course asked guests to wear masks and respect space, coverings and social distancing were not mandatory at the meeting today. Pictured: A group of racegoers enjoy themselves at Windsor Races on Freedom Day

Racegoers enjoyed the first night of racing following lifting of restrictions in England on what has been called Freedom Day

Windsor race course hosted a full card as racegoers enjoyed their first night of racing following the lifting of the Covid-19 restrictions in England on what has been called Freedom Day. The venue advised guests to wear face masks in crowds

The club offered various bars and dance floors inside and out and even a silent disco with 135 staff working alongside four drugs search dogs.

Earlier in the day, capacity crowds headed to Windsor race court to enjoy a full card of racing in scorching heat as the easing of restrictions meant the venue could welcome back fans and provide full hospitality services.

The race course said social distancing would not be expected but asked its guests to respect other race-goers’ ‘personal space and boundaries’.

Management also advised fans to wear face masks in crowds and indoors but confirmed they were not mandatory.

Guests enjoyed a night of Rum n Reggae at a special Caribbean themed race night to celebrate Freedom Day. 

On Monday evening, prestigious London performance venue the Royal Albert Hall opened at full capacity for the first time since March 2020, but the concert hall says the pandemic has been financially devastating. 

The concert featured a new commission from composer David Arnold titled A Circle Of Sound.

Special guests including actor Michael Sheen, boxer Nicola Adams and singer Melanie C also appeared at the event.

The London venue, which was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, said in a statement it has lost £60 million in income and refunded £10 million worth of tickets since it closed because of the pandemic. 

The anniversary event was originally scheduled to take place exactly 150 years on, however it was postponed because of the pandemic. 

Pictured: The Royal Albert Hall welcomed back a full capacity crowd for its special 150th anniversary concert this evening

A full crowd – some with and some without masks – fill the seats ahead of the 150th Anniversary Concert at Royal Albert Hall 

The Royal Albert Hall is an independent charity, making the majority of its money from ticket sales and donors. During the pandemic, Hassall says they lost 60 million pounds in income and took a £20million loan from the British government’s Culture Recovery Fund. 

Like many venues across the capital, they have made changes to keep audiences safe, including a £900,000 ventilation project, and asking for masks to be worn in public places. 

Nearly 300 performers were involved in Monday night’s birthday concert ‘A Circle of Sound’ celebrating the hall’s 150th anniversary.

‘I’ve locked myself away for two weeks because there is no way that I would ever miss this,’ the show’s composer David Arnold said.

He added that he and the cast have been extra cautious as they wanted to avoid having to isolate, as has happened to other shows.

The production, which also features star guests including actor Michael Sheen, musician Melanie C and sports star Nicola Adams sold about 80 per cent to 85 per cent of their tickets.

The Royal Albert Hall was opened in March 1871 by Queen Victoria and named in memory of her husband. It was forced to close its doors for the first time since World War Two due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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