TOWN centre businesses enjoyed a roaring trade and pubs welcomed back swathes of punters amid concerns about social distancing.

Dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, pubs and bars tentatively reopened for business as lockdown restrictions were eased.

Police officers were out in force to keep disorder at bay, with one teenager suffering a broken jaw in an altercation in Vineyard Street at 12.30am on Sunday.

The victim, an 18-year-old man, was taken to hospital and police are hunting for a large group of men, several of whom spoke with Welsh accents.

READ MORE: Teen suffers broken jaw in Colchester town centre attack.

Mike Lilley, Colchester councillor responsible for public safety, said: “In the afternoon town was packed, filled with people, and cars were coming down the High Street, ignoring the restrictions put in place there.

“It just looked like it was a year ago on a summer’s day.

“Social distancing wasn’t in force, there was no attempt to keep clear of each other as it was such a packed town centre.”

He added: “It is hard, people have to take responsibility for their own actions.

“But it is hard to police.”

Mr Lilley toured the town again the evening, noting most pubs were sticking to social distancing rules, and said it was "far less busy."

He said: “There was a heavy police presence, which was good to see.

“We were having a look at pubs and by and large it was pretty good, Three Wise Monkeys had a very nicely spaced out system in place and staff were checking people’s names against a booking system.”

He said licensing teams will be revisiting certain pubs where he saw large crowds of people gathering outside to issue further guidance.

Charlie Rogers, general manager at Three Wise Monkeys, said: “The police presence in town was something to behold, we had four or five visits from the police and the licensing team to make sure we were operating within the guidelines.

“It was quite easy to control, as if someone hadn’t booked and there was no free space, they were just turned away at the door.

“Even if we’re not at normal capacity, it was a huge relief to get the doors open again.”