IT does seem bizarre that the government has chosen to reopen pubs on a Saturday.

You can understand the police's concerns. A Saturday, in the middle of summer, on the first weekend after pay day, could indeed create a 'perfect storm for disorder' as excitable hordes descend on their favourite drinking haunts for the first time in more than three months.

Surely a midweek day would have been more manageable - more of a 'soft relaunch' because more people would have been at work.

It's very easy to have nightmare visions of huge crowds of revellers all letting their hair down simultaneously like they have just been released from prison, and the challenges this will bring for the authorities.

In reality, though, those premises that stick to the guidelines are unlikely to be dangerously rammed, at least at first.

Venues have been advised to open with table service 'where possible' - with particular emphasis on outdoor service - so this may naturally limit customer numbers. The lack of loud background music or live performances might put a few people off and others may decide to stay at home too, leaving their big pub return until 'it's a bit quieter'.

The real challenge for licensees on July 4 onwards will be in enforcing people to stay a metre or two apart once they've had a drink or two.