Primrose Hill will be shut after 10pm tonight, tomorrow and Sunday in a bid to stop late-night parties as police step up their patrols ahead of England’s biggest night out in six months.
Police said the beauty spot will be temporarily closed then reopen again the following morning with officers patrolling the area in north London after ‘recent incidents of anti-social behaviour’.
Scores of maskless ravers defied social distancing measures and attended an illegal party at the park in Camden on April 3. No arrests were made but police continued to patrol the area over the Bank Holiday.
Litter was also left strewn across the green space – known for its awe-inspiring view across central London – with pickers clearing up empty beer cans, food cartons and laughing gas canisters on April 5 despite repeated calls for people to take home their mess.
Elsewhere in the capital city, officers are stepping up their patrols in busy areas such as Soho and Mayfair, vowing to take action against those who ‘dangerously flout the rules’ and urging business owners to ‘act responsibly’.
The move comes as revellers across Britain prepare for bars opening for their first Friday night since the easing of coronavirus lockdown rules.
Britons are expected to knock back a staggering five million pints and 500,000 bottles of wine tonight, with the Friday night spending spree set to fill the tills of the depleted hospitality industry to the tune of £100million.
But revellers will have to wrap-up in more than just a beer jacket when they hit the pubs and bars, as they will have to remain in outdoor areas under current Covid rules with temperatures in London set to drop to 5C tonight.
People enjoy the sunshine on Primrose Hill in London on April 4. The park will be shut after 10pm tonight, tomorrow and Sunday then reopen again the following morning in a bid to stop late-night parties
Scores of maskless ravers defied social distancing measures and attended an illegal party at the beauty spot in Camden on April 3. No arrests were made but police continued to patrol the area over the Bank Holiday
A council worker cleans up litter strewn across the hillside of Primrose Hill in North London on April 5 – the morning after revellers took to the picturesque location to enjoy the warm spring weather
Police seen patrolling Primrose Hill with people also picking up litter on April 5. The Royal Parks, a charity that looks after London’s eight historic parks, also tweeted: ‘This weekend Primrose Hill will be closed to the public from 10pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings until the following morning’
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told MailOnline: ‘Following recent incidents of anti-social behaviour within Primrose Hill, the Royal Parks have decided to close the park from 10pm this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The parks will reopen again the following morning.
‘Officers from the Mets Royal Parks unit, funded by the Royal Parks, will be conducting a number of high visibility patrols into the night. They will engage with people who are gathering, explaining the closure and asking them to leave.’
The force confirmed that these measures will only apply to Primrose Hill.
The Royal Parks, a charity that looks after London’s eight historic parks, also tweeted: ‘This weekend Primrose Hill will be closed to the public from 10pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings until the following morning.
‘This is a short-term solution to deal with the persistent anti-social behaviour and disruption to the local neighbourhood.’
Social media users reacted to the decision, with one posting: ‘A sad but necessary consequence of the rave parties being held there.
‘Hopefully these people will find somewhere else to go and allow those of us who love Primrose Hill for the peace and quiet and the views – something the ravers don’t give a toss about – can enjoy it again.’
Another wrote: ‘What a shame that there are idiots these days who want to ruin all the nice things we have.
Party-goers, many of whom were without masks, sand to the music at the illegal party on Primrose Hill in London on April 3
The crowds locked arms and danced to music that was playing from a sound system at the beauty spot in north London
Empty beer cans, plastic bags, food cartons and laughing gas canisters were among the detritus piled up against the curb at Primrose Hill on April 5
A litter picker removes bags of rubbish from an overflowing bin at Primrose Hill amid a major clean up operation earlier this month
The spot in north London is popular with drinkers thanks to its awe-inspiring views across the centre of the capital
‘I used to run all round Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath, etc late at night training for ultramarathons when it was quiet and only had bats and other nocturnal wildlife for company. Sad times.’
Today is the first weekend night where pubs and bars across England are allowed to open – albeit only for outdoor drinking – since October last year.
Britons have already been busy cramming into streets and outdoor seating areas this week after the Government eased restrictions on the hospitality industry on Monday.
Pubs and bars in England can now open outdoor seating areas to welcome back groups of up to six people, or two households. Indoor seating will not be allowed until at least May 17 under the Government’s current roadmap out of lockdown.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, the Met’s lead for Covid-19 response, said: ‘The Met is ready to welcome back people to the streets of London.
‘We will be stepping up our patrols to busy high footfall areas, to look out for everyone’s safety and to disrupt any criminal activity.
‘Of course, where we need to take action against those who dangerously flout the rules we will do. While the case rate has declined in London, we have seen the concerning position in northern Europe.
‘It is important that we all stick to the rules so further lockdowns, or restrictions, are avoided.’
She added: ‘As the shutters open once again on London’s high streets and across London’s hospitality sector, I know the overwhelming majority of business owners will act responsibly.
Revellers across England are today preparing for the biggest night of drinking in six months, as bars prepare to open for the first Friday night since the easing of strict Covid rules. Pictured: Revellers in Newcastle enjoyed a Thursday night drink
Lockdown-weary Britons are expected to knock back a staggering five million pints tonight and fill the tills of the depleted hospitality industry to the tune of £100million. Pictured: In Newcastle people gathered on Thursday night for a drink
On what is being dubbed ‘Fab Friday’, revellers are expected to hit the towns in their thousands – despite Covid rules still being in place – when pubs open for the first weekend night since lockdown began in January. Pictured: Pubs and bars were busy in Soho on Thursday night
‘Businesses have been hit hard by this pandemic but it is important everyone plays their part in driving down the infection rate further.
‘Our joint patrols with councils will continue and if we see unnecessary risks being taken, we will engage, explain the regulations and if needed take action.’
Wales will keep its pubs shut until April 27, as will Scotland. Meanwhile, pubs and cafes can reopen in Northern Ireland for outdoor service on April 30, and indoors from May 24.
Meanwhile, bookmaker Coral has slashed the odds on next month being the warmest May on record in the UK to from 5-1 to 3-1.
Coral’s Harry Aitkenhead said: ‘We’ve endured a freezing April so far but things are just beginning to turn and the outlook for May looks a lot warmer. We’ve slashed the odds on it being our warmest ever.’