BRITS can finally return to pubs, hairdressers and non-essential shops today as lockdown is eased slightly.
Gyms, zoos, drive-in cinemas and beauty salons are also reopening as the next milestone on Boris Johnson's roadmap to freedom is reached.
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Thirsty Brits flocked to pubs at midnight last night, as others rushed to salons to fix their barnets.
Restaurants are also expected to be busy all week as those with outdoor spaces can finally fling open their doors.
It comes as…
- Brits flock to get their hair cut for the first time in months as salons reopen after midnight
- Joy as pubs in England reopen with punters queuing up at midnight to get their first pints in months
- Gyms, zoos, drive-in cinemas and beauty salons reopen today
- Brits have to stick to social distancing guidelines and must abide by the Rule of Six
- Indoor cinemas and bingo halls to stay closed until May 17 under roadmap out of lockdown
- Boris Johnson urges people to be responsible as pub gardens reopen on Monday in next step of lockdown easing
Earlier in the month, the Government announced that everyone in England will be offered free rapid Covid tests twice a week.
It's hoped the tests will allow Brits to get back into offices, as well as enjoying their leisure time without worry.
Mr Johnson also vowed that the plan will help the country unlock and give people the confidence to get out and about again.
But the PM yesterday urged caution during the "major step forward".
He said: "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."
It comes as Brits desperate for a break are still waiting for the PM to shed light on the new traffic light system.
Summer holiday hotspots will be ranked under the lights system — letting Brits fly to "green" countries with low Covid rates and strong vaccine rollouts.
What will reopen on April 12?
Mr Johnson said that non-essential retailers can reopen from this date, as long as strict conditions are met.
This is understood to include:
- Clothing shops
- Homeware shops
- Toy shops
- Vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
- Betting shops
- Tobacco and vape shops
- Electronic goods shops
- Mobile phone shops
- Auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
- Market stalls selling non-essential goods
Other businesses that are expected to reopen as part of the plans include:
- Pubs (outdoor service only)
- Restaurants (outdoor service only)
- Gyms (indoor exercising – but no classes)
- Beauty salons
- Theme parks
- Drive-in cinemas
- Drive-in performances
- Community centres
The move will see Bahrain, Dubai, Iceland, the Maldives and the US top destination wish lists, but nations with high virus cases and slow jab rollouts will require more quarantining.
And it's been revealed that every pub-goer must check-in with the NHS Covid app to get a pint from today.
Under the new rules, all punters must be contact-traced via the app or by giving their contact details when a group enters a pub or restaurant.
All drinkers must scan their NHS app when they go to a boozer, which means it'll be possible to tell them to book a test immediately if they sit near someone who has Covid.
The PM has ditched unpopular rules like the 10pm curfew and the facial substantial meal requirement that saw diners forced to order Scotch eggs and bowls of chips with their pints.
But social distancing measures will still have to remain in place, meaning pubs will be table service only and groups will be capped at a maximum of six people.
When Mr Johnson first announced his "cautious but irreversible" roadmap, he revealed all non-essential retail – including clothing shops, homeware stores and market stalls – could open from April 12 if cases are still being forced down.
And unkempt Brits can finally return to hairdressers and salons as they welcome customers back today.
Indoor leisure centres – including gyms – are also allowed to open, while outdoor attractions like zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas can throw open their doors.
The rules have been relaxed to allow 30 people to attend funeral services while 15 can attend weddings and wakes.
Overnight stays away from home with your household are also back on the cards, while driving tests can start up again for people keen to get their licence.
Elsewhere, the number of care home visitors has increased to two per resident.
Timeline for businesses reopening after lockdown
PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has outlined his roadmap for easing England out of lockdown.
Businesses will be allowed to reopen on the following dates, as long as the "four steps to freedom" are met. Here's what we know so far:
- Hospitality outdoors
- Self-catered staycations with one household
- Indoor hospitality
- Indoor exercise gyms
- Bingo halls
- Sports stadiums to reopen but capped to 10,000 fans
Libraries and community centres can open back up, with the roadmap saying: "All public spaces have important benefits that help create local attachments and sense of belonging to a community."
However, things still won't be completely back to to normal for some months yet.
Mr Johnson has warned that loosening restrictions is based on "data, not dates" – and he today said: "We can't be complacent.
"We can see waves of sickness afflicting other countries, and we've seen how this story goes."
Four key tests must be passed for unlocking to continue – the continued vaccination of the population, that jabs are working, that infection rates are not threatening the NHS, and there are no threatening new strains of the bug.
It is hoped the country’s 54 million adults will be offered a jab by the end of July with the most vulnerable having received both vaccine doses by May.
The roadmap began when schools reopened on March 8.
On March 29, Brits were able to enjoy outdoor garden parties while following the rule of six or two household restriction.
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