Pub gardens, restaurants, and hairdressers are preparing to reopen as part of major easing of England’s coronavirus lockdown on Monday.
Non-essential retail, as well as indoor gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen as lives take another leap back towards normality along the road map to ending restrictions.
Libraries, zoos and nail salons will also reopen as greater outdoor interaction is permitted while mixing with other households indoors remains heavily restricted.
Businesses and citizens eagerly anticipated the renewed freedoms, but any fanfare for the easings has been somewhat muted by the national mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh.
Only 40 per cent of pubs in England have space to reopen
In England, after months of being closed, pubs and restaurants have undertaken renovations to maximise their ability to serve customers outside.
But the British Beer and Pub Association estimates that just 40% of pubs in England have the space to reopen for outdoor service.
Both the 10pm curfew rule and the requirement to order a substantial meal with a drink have been scrapped, but social distancing must be abided by.
It will be the third in a series of easings since the third national lockdown was legally imposed in England on January 6.
The next date earmarked on the road map is May 17, when socialising indoors will be permitted under the “rule of six” if the Prime Minister judges that the vaccination programme is safely breaking the link between infections and deaths.
Outdoor attractions are preparing for rush of visitors
Outdoor attractions and self-catering accommodation providers are preparing for a rush of visitors when they reopen on Monday.
Chester Zoo chief executive Jamie Christon said it has enjoyed a “great deal of demand”, with the majority of tickets sold out for the coming days.
“As we move out of lockdown, people are wanting to meet with friends and family,” he told the PA news agency.
“Chester Zoo is a fantastic place to do that. They can have a great day out, understand and learn a bit about conservation, and we’re professional and large enough to be able to make sure that is done in a secure and safe way.
“I expect that we’re going to be busy. We want to open next Monday and stay open for the entire year.”
Steve Jarvis, co-founder of website Independent Cottages, which promotes around 1,800 self-catering properties, said around 80% of its sites are booked over the next fortnight.
The “huge appetite for UK holidays” began at the start of the year, he explained.
The firm recorded more than double the number of bookings in January and February compared with the same period in 2020.
“To have that interest and confidence for people to book is terrific,” Mr Jarvis said.
He added that although properties in the popular tourist destinations of Cornwall and Devon are 95% booked up, other areas are “catching up quickly”.