People have been taking advantage of the much anticipated Bank Holiday weekend, celebrating the end of some lockdown restrictions with the added bonus of some sunshine.
Pictures show that party-goers were out in force across the country, celebrating the arrival of some late spring sunshine and being able to meet up with friends in bars following the relaxation on some of the lockdown rules on May 17.
City centres such as Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle were particularly busy, with pictures showing people enjoying their first proper night out of the year.
Some were seen taking off high heels at the end of their night, particularly painful after a year in lockdown in flat shoes, while others were captured hugging each other since the relaxed rules on contact were announced.
Other images showed the sheer amount of people descending on pubs, bars and restaurants.
Leeds City Centre was particularly busy with boozed up party-goers meeting to celebrate the long weekend
Revellers in Leeds were out in force on Saturday evening to celebrate the long-awaited Bank Holiday weekend when lockdown restriction rules could be relaxed. Pictured – four friends meet up to celebrate in Leeds city centre
Hen parties were finally able to go ahead again in style across the country, like this one in Newcastle on Saturday night
Pictured a man lies on the floor laughing with another woman, who were among those celebrating their reunion with friends
It was a happy occasion for all and reunions all around on Saturday evening in Leeds City Centre
Some people were up to their old antics as they marked the special occasion. Pictured a girl points a wet floor sign at a boy, who is laughing and lifting his leg. He holds a face mask in his hand, which has now become part of the new normal
Not only were crowd delighted to reunited with others, they also got the added bonus of some live music to accompany them to the pubs and bars, with buskers performing and people dancing their way down the street in Leeds.
It was also a night of celebration for Chelsea fans after the club’s Champions League win, and sun worshipers as temperatures hit 23C.
It’s likely that the good weather will remain with us over the long weekend, with forecasters predicting highs of 25C in some parts of the country on Bank Holiday Monday.
The warm weather is expected to stay with us for the first half of June, with the Met Office predicting a heatwave which will continue for the first half of June.
The long-anticipated late arrival of spring sunshine comes after the third stage of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap to freedom was launched on May 17.
It was the first gathering since restrictions on hugging were lifted. Pictured two girls throwing their arms around each other.
Revellers enjoy a Saturday night on the town as drinkers make the most of the Spring Bank Holiday weekend in Newcastle. In the background, a busker plays piano to accompany people who are walking through the city centre
But the night proved to be too much for some people, particularly those wearing heels, who needed to sit down on a bench
Pictures show friends having long-awaited reunions with pubs, bars and restaurants in Leeds on Friday evening
Wearing heels may have been a bit of a challenge after spending so much time in lockdown last year. Pictured two girls sit in a bus stop to remove their painful shoes
A busker played his guitar for party-goers on Saturday night in Newcastle while they reunited in the street
A woman carried a bottle of booze while a man throws his arms around her in an exciting reunion weekend for all
Three girls join the crowds of people out to celebrate reunions and the spring sunshine in Leeds city centre
People gathered in Newcastle on Saturday evening to listen to buskers and celebrate the long Bank Holiday weekend
Girls were captured sitting on grass verges in their going out gear as they contemplated where to go next
Three women walk and chat, with two holding each other as restrictions on physical contact have lifted this month
Since then, people have been able to hug friends and family members, sit inside with them, and jet off on holiday abroad.
All restrictions are set to lift on June 21, meaning life will return to the closest to normal since lockdown began, with clubs reopening, sport events and festivals being able to take place and social distancing rules being scrapped.
It is thought that working from home and wearing masks in public spaces will still be enforced.
There are concerns a return to normality could be delayed due to the spread of the Indian mutation.
Earlier this week, eight areas of England were put under stricter restrictions amid spikes in cases of the Indian variant of the virus.
People have been warned not to travel Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside amid cases in those areas.
It was a particularly joyous occasion for many who may well have been reunited for the first time since lockdown rules eased
All the fun and alcohol proved to be a little much for some people, who may have sore heads on Sunday morning
Revellers made it clear that they were delighted to be together again on the Bank Holiday weekend in Newcastle
Two girls in Leeds pictured getting ready for their Bank Holiday night out with crowds of others behind them doing the same
Some people had to remove their shoes after a long time at home in comfortable footwear, with many carrying theirs home
It was all smiles as people reunited and met others again for the first time following the relaxation of the rules
For some in Newcastle, it was the first time they were able to physically hug each other after the relaxation of rules
Three girls in Newcastle get together with their arms around each other to pose for the camera
Revellers enjoyed a boozy night on the town in Newcastle as the long Bank Holiday weekend kicked off on Saturday
Pubs, bars and restaurants welcomed punters back with open arms on the Bank Holiday weekend in Newcastle
However, Britain’s vaccination programme means that three-quarters of adults will have received at least one Covid jab within days – and almost half will be vaccinated with both doses before the end of the week.
Official figures showed earlier this week that 39,068,346 people have had their first shot and 24,892,416 have had the second.
The number of Covid patients being treated in hospital also continues to fall.
But deaths and hospital admissions have risen slightly. In the past seven days, 59 Covid-related deaths were recorded, up 44 per cent on the previous week, and 870 new hospital admissions, up 23 per cent.
Cases have also risen 23 per cent week on week, with 21,469 recorded in the past seven days.