Spending in pubs and bars soared by almost 300% over the 4 July and 5 July, compared to the weekend prior.
According to the latest figures from Barclaycard, contactless transactions also increased by 137% over the first weekend of eased restrictions.
In total, hospitality, leisure and entertainment grew by almost 7% week-on-week, but businesses “remain behind where they were in 2019”.
Barclaycard Payments, which processes nearly 40% of all transactions in the UK, said its data showed that the public “took advantage” of the long-awaited re-opening of pubs, bars and restaurants.
Across the whole hospitality, leisure and entertainment sector, the group saw a 19% increase in the total number of transactions compared to the weekend before, and a 7% increase in the total value spent.
However, social distancing measures are still having a “significant impact”, the group warned, with the total value of transactions across these sectors down by 45% year-on-year.
Nonetheless, Barclaycards noted that the lifting of restrictions was “still a cause for celebration” for UK customers and businesses, and recorded a 295% increase in the total value spent in pubs and bars.
Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “While this weekend certainly gave us reasons to celebrate, we’re not out of the woods yet.
“We know that our clients are doing their utmost to incorporate social distancing measures into their operations in order to maximise revenue, while also keeping their customers safe.”
He added: “As our contactless figures show, the good news is that consumers are still comfortable with the idea of shopping face-to-face, which will bring hope to those businesses that are still trying to adapt and thrive in the current economic climate.”