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Boris Johnson Confirms Pubs In England Will Fully Reopen On 17 May

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Boris Johnson Confirms Pubs In England Will Fully Reopen On 17 May

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed pubs in England will be able to fully reopen on 17 May, in line with the third stage of the government's roadmap out of lockdown.

Speaking at the Downing Street briefing today, Johnson confirmed that the next stage of easing lockdown restrictions can go ahead next Monday (17 May), which means pubs, bars and restaurants will finally be open for both indoor and outdoor service.

"I can confirm we have met our four tests for further easing of lockdown in England," he said, adding that deaths and hospitalisations are at the 'lowest level since July'.

Johnson explained: "The data now support moving to step three in England from next Monday 17 May.

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"This means the rule of six or two households that is applied outdoors will now apply indoors, and the limit for outdoor meetings will increase to 30.

"From next Monday, you'll be able to sit inside a pub and inside a restaurant."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In response to the news, Kate Nicholls, chief executive of industry body UKHospitality, said: "This is a much welcome and vitally important next step, as we continue along the road map to remove restrictions.

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"There is a huge sense of relief within the sector, in particular for the six in 10 venues that were not able to reopen over recent weeks due to a lack of outdoor space.

"However, with significant restrictions still in place, this is a psychological opening rather than an economic one, with the profitability of the sector still a huge issue.

"This is why sticking to the road map and the removal of all restrictions by June 21 is absolutely crucial, enabling venues to finally operate in viable conditions, after 14 months of severely disrupted trading."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Johnson continued to list further changes that will be introduced on Monday.

He said: "You'll be able to go to the cinema, and children will be able to use indoor play areas.

"We're reopening hostels, hotels, B&Bs. We'll reopen the doors to our theatres, concert halls and business conference centres.

"We'll unlock the turnstiles of our sports stadia, subject to capacity limits, and from next week, everyone will be able to travel within Britain and stay overnight."

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He went on to confirm that we are 'on track' to move on to the next phase of easing lockdown on 21 June.

Johnson said: "This unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road back to normality, and I am confident that we will be able to go further.

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"Subject to the impact of Step Three on the data, we remain on track to move to Step Four on 21 June, and to give business more time to prepare, we'll be saying more later this month about exactly what the world will look like, and what role there could be if any for certification and social distancing."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Johnson also said the government would be updating the guidance on close contact between friends and family next Monday, setting out the risks for 'everyone to make their own choices'.

He said: "This does not mean we can suddenly throw caution to the winds. In fact, more than a year into this pandemic, we all know that close contact, such as hugging, is a direct way of transmitting this disease.

"So I urge you to think about the vulnerability of your loved ones - whether they have had a vaccine, one or two doses, and whether there has been time for that vaccine to take effect.

"Remember outdoors is always safer than indoors. And if you are meeting indoors, remember to open a window and let in the fresh air. Keep getting tested regularly, even if you don't have symptoms, so you don't spread the virus without knowing it.

"And whatever you decide, I must ask that you continue to follow social distancing when not with friends and family including in workplaces, shops, pubs, restaurants and other settings."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman
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