BORIS Johnson's step-by-step plan for unlocking the UK economy has today seen pubs, restaurants, shops and hairdressers reopen.

The easing of restrictions began by sending kids back to school on March 8 and the return of the Rule of Six on March 29.

? Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

From today, pubs, gyms, salons and non-essential shops opened for the first time in 114 days as Covid lockdown eases.

Diners and boozers braved bitingly-cold weather as they flocked to beer gardens and outdoor seating areas, with pubs and restaurants finally able to welcome customers outside.

Thirsty punters were seen waiting patiently in line for bars to open at midnight.

Shaggy-haired Brits also raced to get their hair cut for the first time in months as salons saw clients from midnight.


Speaking last week, the Prime Minister said the success of the vaccine rollout is to thank for getting Covid under control and Britain back on the road to recovery from the pandemic.

And Boris promised to join lockdown-weary Brits by sinking a pint in a pub today.

At a Downing Street press conference, the PM said: "The net result of your efforts and the vaccine rollout is I can confirm that from Monday 12 April we will move to step two of our roadmap reopening shops, gyms, zoos, holiday camp sites, hairdressers and beer gardens, and outdoor hospitality of all kinds.

"And on Monday 12, I will be going to the pub myself and cautiously but irreversibly raising a pint of beer to my lips."


Boris also hailed a new mass testing blitz offered to everyone in England as the way to end the lockdown.

Under the plan, twice-weekly free rapid Covid test have now been made available.

People can collect or order batches of their free Covid tests – which provide results in just minutes – whether they have symptoms or not.

Here's how the unlocking will take shape throughout spring and summer…

April 12

In the first major easing of restrictions, non-essential shops and hairdressers have reopened today.

Pent-up demand will see £1.5billion — that’s £2.7million a minute — spent in venues and reopening attractions between 9am and 6pm.

And Brits can enjoy a pint in pub beer gardens once again as long as they stay seated, with revellers flocking to pubs that reopened from midnight.

Rules about ordering food and a 10pm curfew from previous lockdowns will not return.

Pubs and restaurants can now offer outdoor seating with table service, but social distancing and the Rule of Six will stay in place.

Gyms reopened from 6am today but for individual exercise only. Group classes will not be allowed.

Unkempt Brits have been unable to visit a barbers or hair salon since January under the current lockdown.

But hairy customers raced to get a trim for the first time in months as salons reopened at midnight.

Customers have booked out barbers and hairdressers back-to-back as lockdown restrictions lift.

Restrictions on weddings have also been eased from today, with the number of attendees limited to 15 people.


Zoos and other outdoor attractions such as theme parks and drive-in cinemas are also now able to reopen.

Staycations will allow members of the same household to stay in self-contained accommodation.

Parent and child groups of up to 15 people, not counting kids aged under five, can restart indoors from today.

And rules on care home visits are also being relaxed, with each resident now allowed to see two people each.

But Brits are being urged to stick with social distancing measures, including the rule of six, and carry on working from home whenever they can.

While the number of guests allowed at weddings, receptions, and wakes will increase to 15, the maximum allowed at funeral services will be upped to 30.

May 17

May 17 will mark the lifting of many indoor restrictions currently in place across the UK.

Pubs, cinemas and indoor bingo halls will reopen their doors to allow customers inside and fans will once again be able to watch live sport and music at stadiums and arenas, with social distancing.

Outdoor stadiums will be limited to 25 per cent capacity up to 10,000 fans.

Smaller outdoor events will be limited to 50 per cent capacity up to 4,000 fans and indoor events 50 per cent up to 1,000 people.

Wembley Stadium is scheduled to host the semi-finals and final of the delayed Euro 2020 in July.

The number of attendees allowed at weddings will rise to 30.

Two households can go away together and stay overnight, but must try to stick to social distancing.

But Brits have been warned not to book summer holidays abroad yet as the ban on foreign travel may not be lifted on May 17.

Boris warned it is "still too soon to know what is possible" due to the risk of allowing Covid variants into the country.

However a traffic light system grading countries on their level of infection danger was confirmed yesterday.

Only holidaymakers heading to green countries with good vaccine roll-outs and low Covid rates will be allowed to dodge quarantine.

June 21

Vaccine passports are set to be introduced within months to get football matches, holidays, and packed pubs back.

A plan published by No 10 yesterday suggests the Government is on course to introduce Covid certificates in time for the end of lockdown on June 21.

Under the plan landlords may be forced to demand proof of vaccination from punters if they want to drop crippling social distancing rules.

Nightclubs will be allowed to welcome party-goers for the first time since last March.

It is also hoped restrictions round weddings will also be scrapped, with a decision due to be taken nearer the time based on the numbers of deaths and the success of the vaccination rollout.

Source: Read Full Article