It is “crystal clear” that drunken people can’t socially distance, cops in London said — after throngs of maskless pub-goers packed some of the city’s streets Saturday night as bars and restaurants reopened for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.
“Was a predictably busy night and confirmed what we knew, alcohol and social distancing is not a good combination,” tweeted the head of England’s police union, John Apter, on Sunday.
“What was crystal-clear is that drunk people can’t, won’t, socially distance,’’ Apter added.
Londoners are supposed to still be keeping about 6 feet apart and not holding gatherings of more than six people even with the reopening of places such as pubs, theaters and hair salons for the first time in three months.
But photos and video of the chic neighborhood of Soho on Saturday showed gross flouting of the rules.
“Absolute madness,” a Soho man tweeted along with footage of the crowds.
Rafal Liszewski, a store manager in Soho, said, “Quickly, everything got out of control, and by 8 to 9 p.m. it was a proper street party with people dancing and drinking.
“Barely anyone was wearing masks, and nobody respected social distancing,” he said. “To be honest, with that many people on one street, it was physically impossible.”
Apter, who worked the overnight police shift in Southampton City outside of London, said he dealt with “naked men, possession of class ‘A’ drugs, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights, more angry drunks and was called a fascist pig by somebody we tried to help!”
Still, he tweeted, “Vast majority of those out and about last night were sensible and had a good time without causing issues. The introduction of alcohol does cause issues with social distancing but it’s not the majority, far from it.”
The country’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, agreed that most people did “the right thing.
“It was really good to see people out and about and largely, very largely, social distancing,