Fourth of July: fears of the coronavirus second wave did not prevent revelers in the US and UK hitting the beaches and the bars

rhosie@insider.com (Rachel Hosie)
Large crowds of people gathered in both London, UK, and Cocoa Beach, Florida on July 4.
Large crowds of people gathered in both London, UK, and Cocoa Beach, Florida on July 4.

Getty

  • Large crowds came together to celebrate in both the US and the UK on July Fourth.

  • Beaches, parks, and streets across the US thronged with people celebrating Independence Day, despite parts of the country recording record high coronavirus cases.

  • In England, revelers marked the reopening of pubs, bars, and restaurants by drinking in the streets in large groups, prompting fears of a second wave of the pandemic.

  • "What was crystal clear is that drunk people can't/won't socially distance," said Chairman of the Police Federation John Apter.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Independence Day in the US and "Super Saturday" in the UK resulted in revelers coming together to celebrate on both sides of the Atlantic on July 4, however the crowds are drawing criticism for their lack of social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Beaches in San Diego, California; Cocoa Beach, Florida; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Coney Island, New York were busy over both July 3 and 4, photos suggest.

Cocoa Beach in Florida was busy on July 4, although there were fewer people than previous Independence Day weekends.
Cocoa Beach in Florida was busy on July 4, although there were fewer people than previous Independence Day weekends.

Getty/Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto

Saturday also saw Florida and Texas reporting record high coronavirus cases, according to the FT.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez had last week announced an emergency order to close all beaches in the county for the Fourth of July weekend. The majority of beaches in Southern California were also closed, according to the LA Times.

Americans flocked to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina on July 4.
Americans flocked to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina on July 4.

Getty/Sean Rayford

Other parts of the US still marked the occasion, such as Belle Fourche, South Dakota, where a parade was followed by a rodeo, evening dance, carnival and other festivities.

The Independence Day parade in Belle Fourche, South Dakota.
The Independence Day parade in Belle Fourche, South Dakota.

Getty/Scott Olson

Many Independence Day parades, parties, and fireworks displays across the US were canceled in light of the country's rising coronavirus numbers, but this didn't stop the White House from throwing a large event with a fly-over and fireworks, Business Insider's Michelle Mark reported.

While masks were offered to members of the public attending the event on the White House's South Lawn, they were not compulsory, any many people didn't wear them, according to The New York Times

Across the Atlantic, many Brits came together on July Fourth to celebrate England's reopening of bars, pubs, and restaurants.

Revelers in Soho, London, on July 4.
Revelers in Soho, London, on July 4.

Getty/Peter Summers

In what is being called "Super Saturday," eateries and bars were able to welcome back customers — provided they could maintain social distancing.

However, photos suggest that as the night went on, many people gave up trying to maintain their distance.

Police were on hand in Soho.
Police were on hand in Soho.

Getty/Peter Summers

In central London, the streets of Soho bustled with drinkers savoring their first pints of beer in months, with police monitoring the situation.

Chairman of the Police Federation John Apter was on shift in Southampton, England. He said: "What was crystal clear is that drunk people can't/won't socially distance," The Evening Standard reported.

"It was a busy night but the shift managed to cope. I know other areas have had issues with officers being assaulted."

A police officer surveys the crowds in London.
A police officer surveys the crowds in London.

Getty/Justin Tallis/AFP

On social media, people have been expressing their concerns over the images and fears of a second wave of the coronavirus.

Estate agent Stephen Lowe tweeted a video of the scene in Soho at 10 p.m., describing it as "absolute madness."

The Metropolitan Police said there were "no significant issues" in London, according to the BBC.

Elsewhere in the country, such as Devon and Nottinghamshire, the police had to deal with "drink-related" incidents and anti-social behavior.

 

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