'No significant issues' over first weekend of pubs and restaurants opening indoors
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Suffolk's pub-goers "behaved themselves" on the first weekend of hospitality venues being able to serve customers indoors, a senior police officer has said.
Chief Inspector Andy Pursehouse, from Suffolk police, said there were "no significant issues" as pubs and restaurants allowed drinkers and diners through their doors over a weekend for the first time since last year.
From May 17, pubs and restaurants were allowed to serve customers indoors, without any 'substantial meal' requirements as coronavirus restrictions continue to ease.
Suffolk police warned pub-goers on Friday to "drink responsibly" over the weekend and urged them to "keep the threat of Covid at the forefront of their minds".
Ch Insp Pursehouse said the number of revellers enjoying the county's night-time economy is not yet back to pre-lockdown levels but people were largely well-behaved.
"It went reasonably well. There were no really significant issues, certainly Ipswich was fine. There were one or two isolated incidents but fewer than you'd expect for a fully open night.
"We did some licensing checks and they all went well. So it's been a really good start and people have been behaving themselves.
"It was certainly a lot busier than it has been, numbers are picking up but we're not seeing the levels we saw before lockdown and Covid started. We're not back up to that."
With most Covid restrictions expected to be lifted by the end of June, and the postponed 2020 European Football Championships now taking place this year, many are predicting a busy summer for police officers.
But Ch Insp Pursehouse said the force is in a good position to cope with the increase in numbers.
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"We've got plans in place. We are expecting a busy summer as things slowly open up and with the next big one in June with the Euros," he added.
"We're expecting it to be busy, we're expecting people to want to get out and enjoy themselves after Covid but we have our plans and we've been working on that for some time to make sure we're able to cope with an increase in demand."