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COVID-19: Large crowds in London troop out to celebrate lockdown easing

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Pubs across England reopened on Saturday, alongside hair salons and movie theaters, as part of Britain’s biggest step toward post-outbreak normal.

Many people relished the easing of restrictions on public life that had shuttered UK restaurants and bars, although a trade group estimated that only about half of England’s pubs elected to open on the first possible day.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: British PM, Boris Johnson Discharged From Hospital.

Videos from the streets of central London showed large gatherings out celebrating and dancing, most of which appeared maskless.

The British government has been accused of being reckless in allowing pubs to open again, given infection and death rates are still high.

Critics have pointed to the experience elsewhere in Europe and in some US states, where the reopening of bars and restaurants is blamed for a spike in infections from patrons losing their inhibitions among strangers and abandoning social distancing after imbibing a few drinks.

The UK has recorded nearly 44,000 virus-related deaths, third behind the United States and Brazil.

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