Parched punters descended on pubs in England after the month-long national coronavirus lockdown was lifted.

Despite the biting cold snap which has seen temperatures plunge below zero amid imminent snow forecasts, groups of friends gathered outside pubs and bars in Tier 2 areas for al fresco drinking.

And in Cardiff pubgoers enjoyed one last hurrah before boozers are banned from serving alcohol for a month on Friday as part of Wales' own stricter measures following a surge.

People from separate households in England are allowed to meet up outside as long as the rule of six is adhered to, while pubs can serve alcohol as long as it comes with a substantial meal.

Hours after lockdown was lifted, people in Liverpool headed out to meet friends

Adapting to the new restrictions - which could remain in place into the spring - pubs have installed outdoor heaters and gazebos to accommodate customers.

While pubs which don't serve meals have been given permission to team up with local takeaways as a way of getting around the restrictions.

However, a Downing Street spokesperson told The Sun, pubgoers are banned from bringing food to a pub bought elsewhere and not part of an official teaming up, including through takeaway apps like Deliveroo.

People eat and drink outside bars and restaurants in Soho, London
Londoners are seen making the most of the first night out after lockdown in Covent Garden

Groups of women in Liverpool and York were snapped without their coats despite the chilly conditions, wearing dresses and high heels.

While in Soho, London, small groups remained wrapped up in winter warmers while they enjoyed drinks outside.

The scenes on Wednesday night, hours after the lockdown was lifted, were a far cry from those on 'Super Sunday' in July when social distancing went out the window as punters enjoyed summer drinks after months in lockdown.

Customers enjoy a drink with a meal in Liverpool

In Manchester, meanwhile, which is in Tier 3 where pubs are only allowed to sell takeaway drinks, the city centre resembled a ghost town.

In stark contrast, Tier 1 areas such as Cornwall saw people flood inside pubs and bars, with only the 11pm curfew and rule of six hampering their nights out.

Many Tier 2 pubs welcomed customers on Wednesday morning for a beer with a breakfast

Neil Flynn, 51, told The Sun he had been "counting the days" until he could head back to his local The Kentish Drovers, Peckham, which he goes to every Wednesday and Thursday - while nursing a beer and grub.

While fellow regular Alex Dixon, 68, added: "I don’t think anyone can understand the Tier Two rules really.

"I just wanted a bacon sandwich and I can’t have a drink with that."

Jack Cooper, 21, rushed down to The Montague Pyke on Charring Cross Road as it opened its doors.

He told The Sun: "This is the best pint I’ve had in the last four weeks - having a can at home just isn’t the same. It’s so nice to finally get out of the house and be around other people."