Eating out reservations on 12 April were up 79% on the equivalent Monday of 2019, Office for National Statistics data shows.

This is the first time the level has exceeded 2% since before the announcement of the latest lockdown in England on 4 January, and coincides with the easing of hospitality restrictions in England on 12 April.

The spike in demand for bookings, built up over months of lockdown, is likely to have been compounded by the limited trading space available outside, estimated at around 20% of total hospitality space in England.

The reservations data comes from OpenTable, with bookings up in London and Manchester 47% and 153%, respectively.

Meanwhile catering and hospitality vacancies drove an increase in online job adverts, which were at their highest since March 2020.

Catering and hospitality jobs were up 10 percentage points to 58% of their February 2020 average levels.