Freshers flocked to city centres on mass this week ahead of a curfew on pubs.

New university students glammed up in Nottingham and Birmingham for a night on the tiles despite restrictions on social gatherings.

Having spent months away from their schoolmates after classrooms shut at the height of the pandemic, the latest recruits wasted no time getting boozed up with their new higher-education pals.

In Nottingham freshers donned animal outfits for a fancy dress party held in a bierkeller.

Council workers in high-viz jackets attempted to manage the throng that built up outside the ticketed event.

Freshers gather on the streets of Nottingham

In Birmingham - which was recently forced into a local lockdown after coronavirus cases surged - most students kept in bubbles of six while enjoying a boozy night.

Universities have been keen to keep freshers' weeks under control so students don't get infected before bundling into packed lecture halls.

Things quickly went wrong in St Andrews in Scotland where four students contracted coronavirus after a freshers' week party in a hall of residence, the Daily Record reported.

A high-viz wearing official speaks to students about social distancing
A high-viz wearing official speaks to students about social distancing
Crowds gathered despite social distancing restrictions

More than 40 people are now self-isolating following the party, which broke national virus restrictions limiting gatherings to no more than six people from two households.

Elsewhere bars and clubs have attempted to adapt to the restrictions in a bid to keep some of the trade that usually flocks their way at the start of term.

Dave Gardener-Chan, co-founder of Voodoo Events which runs club nights in Leeds, told Leeds Live how they've tried to adapt.

Fun was still had despite the unusual situation
The uni students gathered outside a bierkeller

He said: "We've spent years hyping everything up, saying how brilliant it will be, how bonkers it will be. But we've got to be realistic at managing peoples' expectations this year.

"They're not going to walk into a really busy venue. It's not going be singing and dancing on the dancefloor when your favourite track comes on unfortunately, but it will be more of a VIP experience than they've ever had.

"There are minimal queuing times, there's table service.

An official speaks with students outside a bar

"The venues will be lively and full in terms of their seating capacities, but the music will be turned down slightly."

What little partying that that did manage to go ahead will likely come to an abrupt end on Thursday with the introduction of a 10pm curfew for pubs.

Boris Johnson is expected to make the announcement tomorrow about the curfew, which will also affect restaurants and other hospitality venues.

Punters will also have to say goodbye to their favourite bar stool for a while.

Most students seemed to be keeping in their bubbles of six
Most students seemed to be keeping in their bubbles of six

From Thursday evening all sectors of the hospitality industry will be restricted by law to table service only.

The move will come after chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned we could be facing 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day by mid-October and a daily death toll of 200 by mid-November unless rapid action is taken.

The Government has recognised that this extra blow to hospitality - especially after so much was spent on trying to support it through the "Eat Out to Help Out" scheme - will be a bitter pill to swallow.

A spokesman for Number 10 said: "No-one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses.

"We know this won't be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS."