The situation with regards to the 21 June roadmap date is an “everchanging daily situation”, but Kate Nicholls, chief executive, UKHospitality, told MCA’s The Conversation audience that it looks like “we are back on track” for the removal of restrictions on that date.

“The further we have gone through the week, the more opaque the crystal ball has got,” she said. “We are at the maximum point of uncertainty – this is crunch week when positions are taken.”

Nicholls said the ministers had reviews “piling in”, from the events research programme which is looking at mass events as well as those activities and behaviours that might take place in smaller hospitality venues, while the social distancing review is also due to go to the Prime Minister this week.

She explained the government would be spending a lot of time this week going through all the data, and tracking vaccinations and the prevalence of cases, for example. “It’s still too early to give some indication but it looks as though we are back on track for the 21 June,” she said.

“The feedback I have had was that was the date that was going to be stuck to by hell or high water, in terms of reopening closed parts of the economy and looking to remove as many of those social distancing restrictions as possible,” she told listeners.

Nicholls said there was clearly a nervousness around the Indian variant and added that some of the previous dates may shift. For example, it is now likely we will not hear back on the social distancing review until 14 June. But she said in contrast to how she felt this time last week, she is much more cautiously optimistic that operators will be looking at either a restriction free summer, or as close to that as they can possibly get.