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Beer gardens will finally re-open from April 12 at the earliest.

Pubs will be able to welcome customers, but only outdoors.

The announcement came as Boris Johnson set out his roadmap to end lockdown restrictions in England.

Lockdown will be lifted in four stages across the country, the Prime Minister told MPs.

The second stage is due to take place from April 12 at the earliest, which will see outdoor hospitality, hairdressers and gyms re-open.

Boozers will follow the rules on social contact, which means the rule of six will apply in beer gardens.

There will be no curfews and the previous 'substantial meal' requirement, which needed drinkers to order food with alcohol, will be scrapped.

The rule was widely ridiculed after it emerged a Scotch egg counted as a substantial meal.

Mr Johnson said: “There will be no curfew and the Scotch egg debate will be over."

There will also be table service only.

Pubs will not re-open indoors until stage three, from May 17 at the earliest.

When they do welcome punters back inside, the rule of six will apply, or two households can meet.

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Most restrictions on meetings outdoors will also be lifted – subject to a limit of 30 – under stage three.

Mr Johnson said: "We will also reopen pubs and restaurants indoors along with cinemas, children's play areas, hotels, hostels and B&Bs, theatres and concert halls will reopen their doors."

Nightclubs could finally re-open under stage four, which is from June 21 at the earliest.

Mr Johnson said: "I believe the vaccination programme has dramatically changed the odds in our favour and it is on that basis that we can now proceed.

“Today the end really is in sight.

“A wretched year will give way to a spring and a summer that will be very different.”

The previous tier system of lockdown restrictions will not return, Mr Johnson confirmed.

Instead, lockdown will be eased in all areas at the same time.

The roadmap will contain four tests for easing restrictions.

Ministers will take into account the success of the coronavirus vaccine rollout and whether there is evidence they are reducing hospital admissions and deaths.

The Government will also consider the level of infection rates and the presence of any new Covid variants.

  • Pubs
  • Lockdown
  • Coronavirus

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