‘Grab a drink and raise a glass’: Treasury DELETES tweet urging people to head to pubs on ‘Super Saturday’ lockdown easing amid fury that it was fuelling chaos
- HM Treasury tweeted last night urging people to go to the pub on Saturday
- The tweet said people should ‘grab a drink and raise a glass’ upon reopening
- But it sparked a huge social media backlash as people said it was in poor taste
The Treasury has been accused of publishing ‘the most tone-deaf tweet in history’ after urging people to celebrate the reopening of pubs in England on Saturday.
The Government department’s message to ‘grab a drink and raise a glass’ prompted an immediate social media firestorm.
Users blasted the tweet as being in incredibly poor taste given the UK’s official coronavirus death toll is now at almost 44,000 with other estimates suggesting it is much higher than that.
Meanwhile, there was also anger that the message could fuel chaos at the weekend amid fears the lockdown easing may cause a surge in infections.
The tweet was subsequently deleted but screenshots of it continued to go viral on social media.
HM Treasury tweeted yesterday to urge people to ‘grab a drink and raise a glass’ as pubs reopen in England on Saturday
But the tweet posted by Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s department sparked an immediate social media firestorm as users said it was ‘wholly inappropriate’ and in poor taste given the UK’s coronavirus death toll
Mr Sunak has previously said he ‘can’t wait to get back to the pub… and I don’t even drink’
TV presenter Piers Morgan labelled the Treasury’s now-deleted message the ‘most tone-deaf tweet in history’
HM Treasury had tweeted: ‘Grab a drink and raise a glass, pubs are reopening their doors from 4 July.’
The message published by Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s department was accompanied by a short animated video showing glasses being raised.
ITV Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan was one of many people to lash out at the Treasury for posting the message.
He tweeted: ‘This must be the most tone-deaf tweet in history.
’65k people dead, the economy catering, millions facing unemployment.. and the Treasury wants us all to go out on the p*** & celebrate.’
One Twitter user said: ‘There’s a fine line between being grateful that people can socialise & celebrating.
‘I think that Tweet issued by the Treasury fell on the wrong side of it.’
Another said: ‘This Treasury tweet was deleted after an instant outcry, including from NHS staff fearing the consequences in A&E. What on earth was the Treasury thinking of.’
Others labelled the tweet ‘irresponsible’, said it was in ‘bad taste’ and that it was ‘wholly inappropriate’.
A Treasury spokesman said today: ‘We got it wrong on this and the tweet was quickly removed.’
The reopening of hospitality venues in England has caused concern among some experts who fear the move could lead to a spike in coronavirus.
The Government is pushing ahead with what has become unofficially known as ‘Super Saturday’ despite Leicester going into local lockdown and other areas seeing an increase in cases.
Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen their doors from Saturday but they will be very different to how they were before lockdown was imposed in March.
Government guidance suggests staff should wear face coverings while premises should provide patrons with hand sanitiser.
All orders should be taken from the table, with many likely to use smartphone apps.
Businesses have been told to put in place one-way systems to keep people away from each other.
Venues should also keep a record of all visitors so the NHS Test and Trace programme can immediately pounce on any virus outbreaks.
Loud music and live performances will not be allowed in order to stop people from having to shout to be heard which can increase transmission of the disease.
Social distancing will still be required but it will no longer be two metres in all situations.
From Saturday people who are not part of the same household will be told to keep to the one metre-plus rule.
The ‘plus’ is what Prime Minister Boris Johnson called mitigation, and means taking extra steps to keep safe such as wearing a mask, regularly washing hands and sitting side by side with people, rather than face to face.