Now that the government have announced there's a four step plan to ending lockdown and for life to hopefully return to normal (God, remember that? I barely do tbh), minus all COVID-related rules, many have marked the important 'four step' dates in their diary.
One such date is 12 April – which is the earliest that outdoor hospitality venues, such as restaurants and pubs with gardens, plus non-essential shops (including salons), can reopen. Last time, when the country was operating under a tier system and pub visits were allowed, there were extra rules in place concerning opening hours and alcohol.
If you cast your mind back to pre-lockdown, there was a 10pm curfew for many venues and you weren't allowed to consume alcohol in a pub unless you were eating a substantial meal at the same time (the theory being you'd be less likely to get tipsy and haphazardly breathe on people/forget to social distance).
This time around, however, those rules have been scrapped – hurrah! Meaning you won't have to force down an unwanted plate of chips in order to enjoy an Aperol Spritz in the sun with your pals. (Flashback to the time I had to pay a tenner for a dry and dusty halloumi burger at an outdoor market when I was only drinking a hot chocolate 👎).
Venues that cannot offer an outdoor space will be able to reopen on 17 May (at the earliest, provided the coronavirus vaccine roll out continues at pace, no new variants of the virus emerge and that the death and infection rate declines as necessary).
As a reminder, this is what else could potentially be reopening come 12 April, should the government's plan prove effective:
Non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and museums can open
Outdoor hospitality in pubs and restaurants allowed, but visits will still be limited to households or those following the rule-of-six
Most outdoor settings reopen such as zoos and theme parks to reopen
Gyms and indoor swimming pools will reopen
Self-catering holiday accommodation and camp sites to reopen
Funerals with up to 30 people will be allowed
Weddings with up to 15 people will be permitted
Anyone else already planning their outfit?
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