Pubs and restaurants will be permitted to reopen outdoor spaces no earlier than 12 April, followed by an indoor reopening from 17 May, the Prime Minister has confirmed.

In an announcement to the Commons this afternoon (22 February), Boris Johnson outlined his reopening roadmap, which he said would be “led by data, not dates.”

Following the reopening of schools on 8 March and dependent on vaccine rollout and effectiveness, pubs and restaurants with outside spaces will be allowed to reopen from 12 April. Reopening will see a return of the rule of six, though the curfew and substantial meal rules will not be reimposed.

The rule of six will also apply for hospitality’s indoor reopening – which will happen “no earlier” than 17 May – at which time the reopening of theatres, concerts, stadiums and larger events will be piloted with the support of enhanced rapid testing.

The final stage of reopening will happen from 21 June, when all legal limits on social contact, weddings and other live events will be removed, and nightclubs and theatre performances will be permitted to reopen without previous capacity restrictions, subject to a continued fall in case numbers and hospital admissions, and the rate of the vaccine rollout. At this stage, rapid testing may be used to reduce the risk of infection.

All stages will be reviewed against data on vaccine rollout, effectiveness, pressures on NHS services and new variants, and the public and businesses alike will be given one weeks’ notice prior to the implementation of the next stage.

Throughout its various reopening stages, Government will conduct four reviews, the first of which will assess how long social distancing and facemasks must remain, and the second, to be published by 12 April, will consider the resumption of international travel.

The following two reviews will look at the role of covid-status certification in helping venues open safely, and at the safe return of major events.

“As we proceed through these steps, we will benefit from the combined protection of our vaccines and the continued expansion of rapid testing,” Johnson said.

“In view of these cautious but I hope irreversible changes, people may be concerned about what it means for the various support packages for livelihoods, for people, and for the economy.

“We will not pull the rug out. For the duration of the pandemic, the Government will continue to do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK, and the Chancellor will set out further details in the Budget.”

He continued: “I sympathise very much with the exhaustion and the stress that people are experiencing, and that businesses are experiencing after so long in lockdown. But to them I say there really is an end in sight.”