UK lockdown easing: Pubs to open indoors at MIDNIGHT and indoor mixing – everything you need to know for tomorrow

PUBS will open their doors to customers who want to sit inside at midnight tonight – in a boost to punters desperate to escape the miserable May weather.

Boozers will finally reopen in full as the next step of Boris Johnson's roadmap to freedom begins.

🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates

And stage three is the biggest unlocking so far – with Brits finally able to hug loved ones, head away on holiday and even have casual sex again.

But for millions of us, the best news is that we'll be able to sit inside the local for a pint.

Groups of up to six – or two households of any size – will be allowed inside.

But those happy to brave the rain can meet in groups of up to 30 in pub gardens.

There will be pressure on landlords to ensure all customers over the age of 16 use the NHS track and trace app, or alternatively provide contact details.

And customers will still need to order, eat and drink while seated – with propping up the bar off the table for the time being.

When not seated – for example, while being taken to a table or heading to the toilet – punters must ensure they're wearing face coverings.

Despite larger numbers allowed to meet outside, social distancing between different groups will be encouraged.

That could affect capacity, with smaller pubs perhaps accepting fewer customers in order to ensure different groups are spaced apart.

Things will be slightly different in Scotland, where restrictions will drop to level two across much of the mainland.

That means venues can open until 10.30pm indoors, with food and alcohol served only until that time or earlier.

Customers must also book two-hour slots.

However, more households can meet inside – the rule there is groups of us to six from three households, while up to eight people from eight separate households can meet outdoors.

Glasgow and Moray will remain under level three Covid restrictions for at least another week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

That's following a worrying rise in cases.

Meanwhile, in Wales, up to six people from different households can meet indoors in pubs, cafes and restaurants from tomorrow.

People who do not live together, or who are not in bubbles, should remain socially distanced.

It's hoped indoor hospitality will finally return in Northern Ireland on May 24.

Across the UK, there's currently no legal requirement to provide a so-called Covid certificate to prove customers have been immunised.

However, landlords can ask if they want to – as long as they're not breaking equality laws.

The PM has said there will be more details before the end of May about "what role there could be, if any," for Covid certificates and social distancing.

Elsewhere in England tomorrow, hotels and B&Bs will reopen, and would-be holidaymakers dreaming of a sunshine break will finally be able to take overseas trips.

A small number of countries have been added to the UK's 'green list' – meaning quarantine isn't necessary upon a return home.

They include Israel, Singapore, Portugal, the Falkland Islands, Ascension, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Gibraltar, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Brunei.

And New Zealand and Australia are also on the list – but they have their own entry requirements and are unlikely to let in tourists at the moment.

Indoor entertainment and attractions are also set to open up.

Indoor exercise classes will reopen, while those looking for a more relaxed trip out can finally head to cinemas and museums.

Theatre and concert performances – along with sports events – will also start to allow 1,000 people, or 50 per cent of the venue's capacity – whichever is lower – to start again.

Under the rule change, weddings and receptions will be able to go ahead with 30 people.

The rules are different for funerals. Rather than having a strict limit, the capacity will be determined by how many people places of worship or funeral homes can safely have inside while mourners are social distancing.

Under current plans, masks in shops and offices are heading for the chop on June 21.

Social distancing will also end.

Masks on trains and buses remain an option but possibly without the fines to enforce the measure.

But the UK's 'freedom day' may face setbacks amid the spread of the new super-infectious Indian variant, expected to become the most dominant in the UK.

Boris Johnson has warned a full end to restrictions next month may have to be halted. It comes as it was revealed the new mutation is up to 50 per cent more transmissible than the Kent strain.

And this morning, Matt Hancock said the Government won't reveal plans for stage four until June 14. 

    Source: Read Full Article