Punters to down 92 pints a second as lockdown eases and pubs and shops re-open


England takes a huge step towards normal life on Monday as pub gardens and non-essential shops reopen after months of lockdown.

Hairdressers, gyms and outdoor attractions can also open their doors.

Four million people in England have booked a visit to an outdoor restaurant or pub garden in the first two weeks of Step 2 of the roadmap.

They are expected to sink up to four million pints on Monday – 92 per second.

Lockdown-weary punters are expected to boost the hospitality sector by £314million this week.

Boris Johnson hoped to drink a pint in a pub beer garden on Monday to mark the latest relaxation of restrictions but shelved the plan as a mark of respect following Prince Philip ’s death.

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A pub in Manchester took delivery of hundreds of bottles of ale
Pubs prepared for the big Monday reopening, with this Manchester boozer taking delivery of hundreds of bottles of ale

The Prime Minister said: “Today is a major step forward in our roadmap to freedom as venues such as shops, hairdressers, nail salons, outdoor attractions… open once again.

“I’m sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else it’s a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed. I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ to suppress Covid as we push on with our vaccination programme.”

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Kate Nicholls, head of trade body UK Hospitality, stressed that Monday is only the “first, tentative step”.

She told the Mirror: “It’s only two in five that have got outside areas so the majority of the estate isn’t going to be open. And even for those open it’s only going to be 20% revenues.



Personal trainer Bella Gordijenko instructs Arthik Francis in the gym at David Lloyd Cambridge as gyms reopen Monday
Personal trainer Bella Gordijenko instructs Arthik Francis in the gym at David Lloyd Cambridge as gyms reopen Monday

“We won’t get a real boost until May 17, that’s when the recovery will be turbo-charged.”

She expects theme parks, holiday parks and self-catering accommodation to fare the best, earning in the last week of the school holidays.

She added: “All those people who say they have missed the pubs and restaurants and value their local business – go and use them. They need your support more than ever now. Go out and enjoy it! You can be reassured that you will be able to socialise safely in our venues.”

The British Beer & Pub Association expects 40% of pubs in England – 15,000 boozers – to reopen today but that, with limited capacity, most will be loss-making.



Lesleigh Mason prepares tables at The Terrace Cafe and Bar in Plymouth, Devon, ahead of the reopening on Monday
Lesleigh Mason perpares tables at The Terrace Cafe and Bar in Plymouth, Devon, ahead of the reopening on Monday

Hairdressers are set to be working 12-hour shifts, with some salons booked for six weeks as wild-haired Brits flood in.

The grooming industry had the greatest growth of any retail sector last year. By the end of 2020, there were 800 more barbers, 526 more beauty salons and 206 more nail salons than 12 months earlier, the Local Data Company reported.

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Some barbers were set to open their doors at midnight last night, to capitalise on the pent-up demand.

With 12 million shoppers eager for some retail therapy, stores are allowed stay open until 10pm tonight.

Many will be enticing shoppers with discounts of up to 70%.

While millions have suffered financially during the pandemic, the lockdowns allowed others to build £143.5billion in savings, according to figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility.



A man walks dogs in a light dusting of overnight snow at Whitley Bay on the North East coast
Snow dusted Whitley Bay on England’s North East coast on Sunday ahead of the lockdown easing

Some are expected to have a high-street splurge from Monday morning.

Queues were expected from dawn at favourites such as Next, John Lewis, Currys/PC World and TK Maxx. The longest queues were anticipated outside Primark, which has extended its opening by two hours a day.

Bargain-hunters were also expected in droves at Debenhams as the failed chain has an everything-must-go sale.

Debenhams fell into administration last year and was snapped up as an online-only brand by e-tailer boohoo.

Gyms have also reopened, so Brits can start to get in shape for summer.

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.

Mr Christon said it has been “pretty difficult” for the business during the pandemic, as it costs around £1.6 million every month to maintain the zoo, including looking after its 19,000 animals.



A barber from New Crescent Barbers in Plymouth, Devon, prepares his shop as salons get set to reopen
A barber from New Crescent Barbers in Plymouth, Devon, prepares his shop as salons get set to reopen

Steve Jarvis, co-founder of website Independent Cottages, which promotes around 1,800 self-catering properties, said around 80% of its sites were booked solid over the coming fortnight.

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He said the “huge appetite for UK holidays” began at the start of the year, with the firm recording more than twice as many bookings in January and February as in the same period during 2020.

The Welsh border has reopened to visitors from the rest of the UK for the first time since last year.

Visitors from across the four nations are now permitted to enter the country and stay in self-catering accommodation, although meeting indoors is still not allowed.

Non-essential retail and close-contact services in Wales have also reopened on Monday, along with face-to-face education.

Hairdressers and barbers have been open since March 15 but outdoor hospitality does not reopen until April 26.

The Scottish government’s ban on non-essential travel in and out of the country remains in place, with a review promised by May 17.





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