Saturday July 4th was "Super Saturday" in the UK, the day of the big changeover, with the reopening of just about everything, starting with pubs, restaurants and hairdressers. But this weekend was nothing back to normal and it took place in a rather gloomy atmosphere. The weather did not help, with a continuous drizzle all Saturday, and a stormy wind on Sunday. Above all, the lack of economic prospects on the merchant side, and concerns, on the client side, linked to a pandemic still not under control, dampened enthusiasm.
Experts anticipated the two-day sale of fifteen million pints. Few excesses were in any case to be deplored, welcomed the authorities. Sporadic accidents Nottingham, Southampton, Newcastle or Leeds, but no scenes of generalized binge drinking, without any respect for social distancing.
Indispensable places of socialization for the British, pubs have adapted, at the cost of heavy investments and a considerable loss of clientele. Many establishments now impose outside orders, booking a time slot in advance, and many only offer consumption on the terrace or in their "Beer garden" when they're lucky enough to have one. Some even ask for a name and a telephone number to inform the health authorities in the event of Covid-19 contamination of a person who has attended their establishment.
All these constraints may have dampened the enthusiasm of customers: Saturday, at 5 p.m. at Boxpark Wembley – a lobby street food from north-west London, very busy before the pandemic started, "We have half as many people as normal", confirms the seller of T4 tea for U, a Taiwanese bubbletea specialist, who set up his stand just two months before confinement.
Traders' wait-and-see attitude
Beside, the seller of Tacos Hola Guacamole, who has nevertheless invested in a Plexiglas arrangement on his counter, observes disappointed: “We were hoping to have more people for our reopening. Fortunately, Deliveroo home delivery is working well. It will take a little time before people come back. " In the hangar, usually saturated with techno music, almost a third of the stands street food still has the curtain down, a sign of a wait-and-see attitude.
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