England’s coronavirus restrictions will be eased further on Monday, with pubs and restaurants allowed to serve customers outdoors.
Hairdressers will reopen, as will non-essential shops, indoor gyms, swimming pools, libraries, zoos and nail salons.
The celebration will be slightly muted, however, by the period of national mourning in place following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has postponed his celebratory pint and is not expected to mark the reopening of businesses with a statement.
The British Beer and Pub Association estimates that just 40% of pubs in England have the space to reopen for outdoor service.
- The 10 pm curfew rule at pubs and requirement for a substantial meal to be bought with a drink will be scrapped
- Overnight stays are permitted in self-contained accommodation with members of the same household or support bubble
- International holidays remain banned
- Households cannot mix indoors
- Shops will be able to extend their opening hours from 7 am to 10 pm to help customers avoid crowds
Retailers are hoping that customers will return to bricks-and-mortar stores for the fun of “physical shopping” after months of being limited to online purchases.
Many have spent money on measures such as safety glass, queueing systems, social distancing signage, better ventilation, and more frequent cleaning in an effort to keep people safe from the coronavirus.
A major part of many retailers’ game plan is offering customers the ability to try on clothes in fitting rooms – something not possible for online shoppers and something that has not been available in physical shops even during the last reopening.
John Lewis executive director Pippa Wicks said the retailer was “looking forward to reuniting customers with the joy of physical shopping”.
“We’re also excited to be opening up much-needed services and helping customers choose those items that are harder to buy online – from the perfect mattress, to road testing the right pram or finding the right pair of jeans,” she added.
The British Retail Consortium said non-food stores have lost £30bn in foregone sales over the three lockdowns.
The next important date in the government’s reopening roadmap is 17 May, when socialising indoors will be allowed under the “rule of six”.
This will only happen if the government concludes that the vaccination programme is continuing to be successful and cases remain low.
On Saturday a further 40 people were confirmed to have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test and 2,589 new cases were confirmed.
More than 60% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to official figures.
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