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Outdoor hospitality open from 12th April, indoors from 17th May

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s four-step plan to ease England out of lockdown will see outdoor hospitality open from 12th April and indoor hospitality from 17th May at the earliest.

Speaking in Parliament this afternoon, Johnson explained that step one will begin on 8th March with schools reopening and two people allowed to meet outdoors for recreation.

From 29th March, outdoor gatherings of either six people or two households will be allowed along with outdoor sports, including football, golf and tennis.

Step two will begin no earlier than 12th April and will see non-essential retail and outdoor areas in hospitality venues (such as beer gardens) reopen. There will be no curfew and no requirement for alcohol to be accompanied by a substantial meal. Hairdressers, nail salons, gyms, libraries, museums, zoos and theme parks will also reopen.

Step three will see pubs and restaurants resume service indoors once more from 17th May along with cinemas, hotels, B&Bs and children's play areas reopening their doors. Most rules on social contact outdoors will be lifted, while mixing of different households will be allowed indoors.

Up to 30 people will be allowed at weddings, funerals, wakes, receptions and christenings.

And, finally, step four is planned for 21st June with all legal limits on social contact set to be removed and all remaining sectors of the economy reopened.

Weddings are the only events where some restrictions may have to remain.

Johnson told MPs that the dates were not set in stone and were the earliest that restrictions could be lifted.

He also wouldn't rule out reimposing restrictions at local or regional level if evidence suggests they are necessary to contain or suppress a new variant which escapes the vaccines.

He added: "Today the end really is in sight. And a wretched year will give way to a spring and a summer that will be very different and incomparably better than the picture we see around us today."

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