PUBS, shops, and hairdressers will all reopen next Monday thanks to Britain’s soaraway vaccine rollout getting the pandemic under control, Boris Johnson will announce tonight.
The PM will reveal at a 5pm Downing St press conference that numbers of cases, hospitalisations, and deaths are all low enough to press ahead with his planned unlocking of the country.
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Boris Johnson will announce pubs, shops, and hairdressers will reopen next MondayCredit: AP
The PM has said he’s desperate to get a pint when watering holes reopen
Under the next stage of his roadmap to freedom hospitality venues in England will be able to serve customers outside, while still respecting rules on social distancing and mask wearing.
Many pub and restaurant bosses saying bookings are already at unprecedented levels as thirsty punters flock for their first chance to eat and drink out since lockdown was imposed.
The PM has ditched hates rules like the 10pm curfew and the facial substantial meal requirement that saw diners forced to order Scotch eggs and bowls of chips with their pints.
But social distancing measures will still have to remain in place, meaning pubs will be table service only and groups will be capped at a maximum of six people.
And the British Beer and Pub Association warned that even though they’re being allowed to reopen, many bars won’t be able to turn a profit on just outdoors trade alone.
Its boss Emma McClarkin said: “Those who open are those who are desperate to reconnect to customers, provide that vital meeting point for people in more isolated areas.
“It will be loss-making but businesses are making preparations to get back to what they do best.”
Pubs will be able to serve customers outdoors from next Monday
Bedraggled Brits will also finally be able to get their unruly lockdown barnets under control as hairdressers, barbers, and beauty salons will also be allowed to reopen from next Monday.
And in a major boost to the High Street all non-essential retail like clothes shops and electronics stores will be allowed to reopen their doors once more to customers.
Indoor leisure and sports facilities like gyms, swimming pools, and spas will also be able to reopen for individual treatments and workouts, but with strict Covid measures in place.
In a boost to pressed-upon parents much outdoor entertainment including zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas will also open theirs doors once more.
Public buildings like libraries and community centres will also reopen to the public, for individuals and groups from a single household only.
And domestic holidays will once more be on the cards with restrictions on overnight stays away from home scrapped for self-contained accommodation like holiday lets.
High Street shops will also be allowed to reopen next weekCredit: Reuters
Bedraggled Brits will be able to get a haircut when barbers reopenCredit: Getty
Next Monday will also see another relaxation in social mixing rules, with children allowed to take part in indoor activities again including sport.
The number of guests allowed at weddings, receptions, and wakes will increase to 15, while the maximum allowed at funeral services will be upped to 30.
Last week the PM insisted he couldn’t wait to get his hair cut and then head down to the pub for a pint once the rules are relaxed.
He said: “In just a few days’ time, I’m finally going to be able to go to the barbers.
“But more important than that, I’m going to be able to go down the street and cautiously, but irreversibly, I’m going to drink a pint of beer in the pub.
“And as things stand, I can see absolutely nothing in the data to dissuade me from continuing along our roadmap to freedom, unlocking our economy and getting back to the life we love.”
During his press conference tonight Boris will also hail a new amass testing blitz for everyone in England as the way to irreversibly end the lockdown.
Under the plan twice-weekly free rapid Covid test will be available by Friday in a huge boost for our freedom.
People will be able to collect or order batches of their free Covid tests – which provide results in just minutes – whether they have symptoms or not.
So far the rapid kits have been mainly aimed at office staff and those who have to leave their homes to work, alongside the NHS and schools.
But everyone will soon be able to order kits at home, get them through their workplaces, at schools, or via the network of testing centres which has been set up across the country.
A pharmacy collect service will also be launched. The kits will be available from Friday onwards with a fresh marketing campaign urging people to take part.
But there have been fears the system, which will use less accurate lateral flow tests, could end up with thousands of Brits wrongly told to quarantine.
Around one in every thousand of the self-administered swabs used can produce a false positive result.
Health minister Ed Argar said he expected returning office workers to be amongst the first to use the new tests on offer from employers, and defended their accuracy.
He said: “The more people who are taking these tests the better because this is about trying to get people back to work, getting our society reopened, which we all want to see done as swiftly and safely as it can be done.
“That is still a highly accurate test which can play a really important part in reopening our country and our businesses, because it is so simple to take.”