BORIS Johnson has urged everybody to be sensible and not “overdo it’’ as pubs prepare to re-open in England today.

In other news, Donald Trump has stressed how important it is that politicians are careful with their language and Harold Shipman has called for an urgent investigation into unethical medical practices.

These cautionary words from the Prime Minister are certainly a change in approach from what we’ve seen recently. Johnson had previously likened the easing of lockdown to the UK “waking from hibernation”.

“I think people need to go out, I think people need to enjoy themselves and rediscover things that they haven’t been able to do for a long time. I want to see bustle.

I want to see activity,’’ he said.

There’s a world of difference between wanting to support local businesses – including pubs – and encouraging the public to treat their re-opening as a day of national celebration, with all the risk that entails.

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As Leicester was forced back into lockdown, the Prime Minister was continuing to hype up the return of boozing. The Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg had a very on-brand joke ready for the occasion, saying people should support the re-opening of pubs by drinking “a yard of ale’’.

“Because if they drink a yard of ale they will maintain social distancing while enjoying an extra large drink to celebrate the fact that they are back in the pub,’’ he quipped.

These jolly japes underplay the risks ahead.

The decision to open pubs – indoors and outdoors – on a Saturday is one that may well come back to haunt the UK Government.

For reasons that should be abundantly clear to everybody – even members of the most underwhelming Cabinet of our lifetimes – it’s an utterly reckless decision. And to do so at 6am on a Saturday morning is, frankly, bonkers. While the Government may have insisted that the 6am opening was to stop pubs opening at midnight last night, it’s not clear why they didn’t simply set the time at 12pm today.

Along with the carelessness that has characterised the Government’s decision-making process is the tone-deaf joviality that accompanied the pubs announcement from those within it who should really know better.

On Thursday, the Treasury was criticised for an “irresponsible and insensitive’’ tweet on its official page which read: “Grab a drink and raise a glass, pubs are re-opening their doors from July 4.’’

After being roundly condemned for being in poor taste, given the tens of thousands of UK Covid deaths, the tweet was deleted.

A Treasury spokesman said “We got it wrong on this and the tweet was quickly removed.’’

The Scottish Government has approached the re-opening of pubs in a much more cautious way. Outdoor hospitality will be back from Monday and even if Scots were minded to go wild, the ever-sensible Scottish weather is sure to keep us in check.

We could interpret Boris Johnson’s “Start Boozing But Keep Calm” statement in Downing Street on in one of two ways. It could be that he recognises that his Government’s strategy of peer pressuring the people of England to get hammered was reckless and a mistake.

Or maybe he is merely trying to absolve himself of any responsibility for what follows. People can make up their own minds about whether they think this was carelessness or something more sinister. But you don’t put on an all-you-can-eat buffet with the expectation that diners are going to be mindful of their recommended daily calorie intake.

Personal responsibility is key and throughout this crisis the fight against the coronavirus has relied on the decisions that we’ve all made in our daily lives. Clear guidance has made those decisions much easier to take. We know the rules and why it is so important that we follow them. While its inevitable that rule-breakers will make the headlines, the overwhelming majority of people across the UK have complied with both the letter and the spirit of the lockdown guidance.

But we also know that it has got harder as the weeks have gone on. As restrictions have been lifted, “Stay at Home’’ has evolved into a list of dos and don’ts that is far more complex.

On what is crassly being dubbed “Super Saturday” we will get an indication of how people in England are feeling about the ongoing crisis. Will the night pass by without incident, as patrons enjoy a quiet pint with the friends they’ve missed so much? Or will the UK Government’s devilish egging-on of its frustrated citizens bring New Year’s Eve-style carnage?

Boris Johnson can only hope that people in England will demonstrate that great British common sense he’s always talking about. If they do, it won’t be because of his leadership. It will be because they have long stopped paying attention to his Government’s reckless mixed messaging.