Family snapped eating lunch in torrential rain call on Boris Johnson to open pubs immediately

·3-min read
A group of hardy pub goers have raised a smile after being pictured enjoying an outdoor pint - in the pouring rain.  See SWNS story SWPLpub.  The comical photo shows eager drinkers huddled under umbrellas in a beer garden and not letting the wet weather get in the way of their Bank Holiday weekend celebrations.  It was taken yesterday (May 1) outside The Cranberry Farm pub, in Exeter, Devon, and has been hailed as a true sign of British grit.  The pub, owned by Hall and Woodhouse brewery, opened again for outdoor service last Thursday (April 29).
The Aston family were left huddled under umbrellas as they tried to enjoy lunch and a drink at The Cranberry Farm pub in Exeter, Devon, over the Bank Holiday weekend. (SWNS)

A family who endured torrential rain to have lunch at their local have said Boris Johnson should reopen pubs immediately and allow people to sit indoors.

An image of the Aston family huddled under umbrellas as they tried to enjoy a meal at the Cranberry Farm Pub in Cranbook, near Exeter, went viral on social media, with many people saying it epitomised Brits' love of the pub.

The Cranberry Farm opened for outdoor service on 29 April and shared the image of the family on its Facebook page.

The post said: "Rain, what rain? Anything for a pint on a Bank holiday weekend!"

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The image was widely shared with one twitter user saying: "If anyone ever asks me for a photo which sums up British people, it would be this one. Taken by my local pub the Cranberry Farm near Exeter about an hour ago. #HardyBrits#WhyAreWeLikeThis"

Another added: "Got to love the determination to enjoy a meal out!"

The family themselves have said it was "madness" they had to sit outside – especially when they live in an area where there have been very few new COVID cases in recent weeks.

Watch: Even the geese are excited about UK pubs reopening

Leanne Aston, who joined her boyfriend Guy Matthews, 28, mother Claire, 52, and sister Lauren, 24 and her boyfriend Aaron Watson, 28, at the pub on Saturday, told The Sun they should have been allowed inside providing they were socially distanced from other tables.

The 28-year-old said: "Never mind COVID, I was more likely to get pneumonia.

Read more: Island paradise with highest vaccination rate reports world’s biggest COVID surge

"Boris needs to reopen all the pubs immediately, this is ridiculous we were sat out in the pouring rain eating lunch when we could have been dry indoors."

According to government figures, there were 14.4 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the seven days up to and including 1 May in North Devon, down from 16.5 the previous week.

The comical photo showed the family huddled under umbrellas in a beer garden as they tried to enjoy the Bank Holiday. (SWNS)
The comical photo showed the family huddled under umbrellas in a beer garden as they tried to enjoy the Bank Holiday. (SWNS)

Aston added: "This is madness, if we're allowed into supermarkets and into the shops, what's the difference with sitting down and having a drink and some food indoors?

"Open the doors now and let us in."

Under current government coronavirus rules and in line with the government's road map out of lockdown, pubs and other hospitality venues can only serve customers outside until 17 May, when indoor hospitality is set to reopen.

When the prime minister announced his road map in February, a snap poll from YouGov suggested that a large proportion of English people agreed with the four-step plan, with restrictions eased every five weeks - a plan that has so far been stuck to.

At the time, 46% said the path out of lockdown was happening at the right pace, with a quarter thinking the timeline was too rapid (26%), and 16% saying it was too slow.

Watch: How England will leave lockdown