THOUSANDS of drinkers flocked to pubs last night for a last hurrah before London and parts of the South East went into Tier 3.
There were scores of impromptu Christmas parties and dozens of restaurants were also packed.
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In Putney, South London, The Green Man, which boasts Britain’s biggest heated beer garden, was fully booked.
A barmaid there said: “We’re full from 5pm, inside and out.
“People have been calling up to book for their last chance to visit a pub before Christmas.”
A restaurant boss in Wandsworth, South London, said: “People are bringing bookings forward.”
Tomorrow's closures will force pubs to pour five million pints down the drain.
The wasted ale is expected to cost boozers in London about £25million.
Scores of Wetherspoon pubs did their best to sell off what they could at 99p a pint before the new rules came into force.
The shutdown leaves the hospitality industry facing 150,000 job losses if pubs cannot reopen.
The British Beer and Pub Association said: “Tier 3 is another nail in the coffin for London’s pubs.”
But it comes amid claims that keeping pubs and restaurants open could reduce the number of coronavirus cases.
Scientists in the Netherlands say closing them just shifts transmission of Covid into domestic settings.
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