UK pubs poised for reopening

London, Apr 11 (EFE).- Three months after closing under a fresh lockdown, non-essential businesses in England are set to reopen on Monday, with pubs and restaurants permitted to serve food and beverages in outdoor spaces.

Hair salons, gyms and clothing shops are among the non-essential businesses poised to open their doors to customers for the first time since 6 January, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a strict lockdown to stem a wave of Covid-19 cases that peaked at 80,000 infections per day.

The rapid vaccine rollout in the UK in combination with the lockdown has seen infection rates plummet in recent weeks.

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals across the country has dropped to 2,862 from 40,000 in January.

The reopening of the UK’s much-loved pubs had been geared up for a cause for celebration but the joyful anticipation has been overshadowed by the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. A period of national mourning is in place until next week.

Johnson canceled his plans to invite the media as he toasted the reopening of pubs with his first pint in since the latest lockdown.

Reservations for pubs and restaurants came flooding in as soon as Johnson’s government outlined the date for easing restrictions on non-essential business.

“We’re very lucky that people in this industry have longed to go to the pub so much that any measures that you put in place now, people will just follow it, they just want to come to the pub to have a drink,” Sunee McKelvey, manager of the The Cuckoo N1 pub in north London, told Efe.

“We are very lucky as well with all the bookings we’ve got, we’re almost fully booked for the first week,” she added.

“The backbone of British society is a pub, this is where the people in the community come together,” she said.

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