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Brits sneak back to the pub as landlords serve takeaway pints to thirsty punters in lockdown loophole

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THIRSTY Brits are back on the booze after crafty pub owners exposed a lockdown loophole to serve punters. Bars across the UK are taking advantage of an easing in the rules which allows them to serve drinks in takeaway glasses and bottles. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates 13…

THIRSTY Brits are back on the booze after crafty pub owners exposed a lockdown loophole to serve punters.

Bars across the UK are taking advantage of an easing in the rules which allows them to serve drinks in takeaway glasses and bottles.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

 Brits took to social media to post pics of their portable pints

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Brits took to social media to post pics of their portable pintsCredit: Facebook

 People were playing it safe at The Althorp in Wandsworth Common, London

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People were playing it safe at The Althorp in Wandsworth Common, LondonCredit: w8media

 The sun and the booze put smiles back on faces

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The sun and the booze put smiles back on facesCredit: w8media

 Queues were seen outside one bar in Bournemouth selling takeaway booze

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Queues were seen outside one bar in Bournemouth selling takeaway boozeCredit: w8media

The move, and sizzling temperatures, led to thousands of Brits doing what they love most – enjoying a cheeky drink with their mates.

Pictures posted on social media show people downing their first drinks from their locals since 47,000 pubs and bars were closed on March 20.

Other pictures featured couples sharing drinks in the sunshine and drinkers supping from plastic pub glasses in back gardens.

And queues were seen forming outside one bar in Bournemouth selling takeaway booze.

 Pubs and bars closed their doors nearly two months ago

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Pubs and bars closed their doors nearly two months agoCredit: w8media

 Many jumped at the chance to have a few drinks with their mates

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Many jumped at the chance to have a few drinks with their matesCredit: w8media

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Credit: Twitter

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Credit: Facebook

One photo showed a punter showing off his pint outside the Old King’s Head in Shoreditch, London as temperatures topped 82F.

Fred Johnson posted a photo with the words: “Local pub doing takeaway. First drink out since lockdown.”

While Fraser Coleman wrote: “Stuck in the garden with a takeaway beer from the Duke of Wellington.”

The pictures emerged as ministers raised the prospect that pub restrictions could be eased in July allowing some to reopen for summer.

George Eustice, the environment secretary, said the government was in discussions with the industry to see what measures may be possible to allow them to reopen.

 Actor Laurence Fox was spotted enjoying a takeaway pint in Primrose Hill, London

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Actor Laurence Fox was spotted enjoying a takeaway pint in Primrose Hill, London

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Credit: Facebook

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Credit: Twitter

However, any opening will be limited at first to those larger venues with plenty of outside space.

“We are already working with the hospitality and pub sector to identify what social distancing measures they might be able to put in place to make that work,” revealed Mr Eustice.

“As the prime minister has outlined, we intend that the hospitality sector, including pubs, would be able to tentatively start gradually opening, hopefully during the month of July — subject to the epidemiology supporting such a move.”

On Monday pub operators called on the government to halve the two-metre social distancing rule ahead of pub re-openings.

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Simon Emeny, the chief executive of Fuller’s, said the rules went “above and beyond” World Heath Organisation guidelines which advise people “maintain at least one-metre distance”.

“I think it’s really important that (rules) are relaxed by the time pubs reopen,” he said, adding that a one-metre rule would allow four times as many customers.

And Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame, told The Financial Times keeping two metres apart would be “profoundly challenging” to the industry.

 At first glance it could have been a normal sunny day

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At first glance it could have been a normal sunny dayCredit: w8media

 Tens of thousands of pubs have been shut since March 20

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Tens of thousands of pubs have been shut since March 20Credit: Rex Features

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