Sajid Javid, secretary of state for health and social care, has said that 19 July is the “end of the line” for lockdown restrictions.

In an address to the House of Commons yesterday, he said that he was “very confident” restrictions would be lifted on that date and that we need to learn to live with Covid-19. 

“While we decided not to bring forward step four, we see no reason to go beyond the 19 July because in truth no date we chose comes with zero risk for Covid,” he told MPs.

“We also know that people and businesses need certainty. So we want every step to be irreversible. Make no mistake, the restriction on our freedoms must come to an end.”

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) said the decision not to move to step four sooner would cost the pub sector a further £200m. It said the delay in lifting the restrictions on 21 July to the present day had already been costing the sector £100m, and that it was crucial there was no further postponement.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said that although the continuation of restrictions until 19 July was not a surprise, “it was still a tough decision for our sector to swallow”.

UKHospitality has called on the government to factor in the mounting costs in the sector and consider a range of mitigation measures.

Speaking ahead of the Parliamentary statement on reopening yesterday, UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, said “During what should be a peak trading period, we remain severely restricted, or, in some cases, forcibly closed. The knock-on impact will be felt throughout the summer.

“An immediate extension of the business rates holiday would settle some commercial concerns but we would still then face employment costs that threaten jobs.”

Commenting on the comments from Javid, Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said: “The Health Secretary has given us a clear date for reopening, and we can only trust that this time the Government sticks to its promises.

“Dates are nothing without information and I hope full guidance on what the reopening will entail will be published immediately to allow businesses a chance to plan ahead, recruit where necessary and prepare operationally.”