REVELLERS are being warned that flouting social distancing when pubs reopen could result in a second wave of coronavirus.

This weekend will see pubs, bars and restaurants reopening that have been closed as a result of the pandemic. However, there will still be restrictions in place designed to protect people from infection.

Many premises will have a reduced capacity to allow for social distancing and it is expected that others will require the public to book a slot.

Cumbria’s Local Resilience Forum has said sticking to social distancing and hygiene rules is critical for preventing a second wave of the virus.

Pubs will be allowed to reopen from July 4.

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, chairman of Cumbria’s Local Resilience Forum, said: “We understand that many people will want to take advantage of going out to pubs and bars as soon as possible, especially after having been unable to do so for so long.

“Whilst we of course want people to have a good time and enjoy themselves, we must remember that coronavirus is still present in Cumbria.

"We all need to continue to follow the Government’s guidance to reduce the risk to ourselves and others, including social distancing, increased hygiene measures and following the instructions of staff.

“We are also urging people to consider their own personal safety.

"The vast majority of people who go out are responsible but we know some people may drink to excess and become vulnerable to harm or indeed cause harm to others.

“The key advice is to know your limits, plan your day and consider how you will get home safely. Anti-social and criminal behaviour is not acceptable.

"We are working with partners to maximise safety and cut crime.”

Colin Cox, Cumbria County Council’s director of public health, said: "We must continue to protect ourselves, our communities and the NHS.

"This means continuing to respect social distancing rules and practising good hand and respiratory hygiene."

The reopening warnings were echoed by Paul Williams, the chairman of the Police Federation union in the county.

Mr Williams said: "I think it’s going to be a very unpredictable situation for police in the whole of the country.

“Police are preparing for mass breaches of social distancing.”