Boris Johnson is expected to announce pubs and restaurants can reopen under a phased approach, with those with outside space allowed to start serving in April, but indoor service not permitted until May.

According to national newspaper reports, it will not be until July, when most of the population is vaccinated, that hospitality will return broadly to normal.

The prime minister is due to set out the roadmap for reopening the country later today.

Hospitality is part of phase three of the plan, and follows the return to schools, reopening of non-essential shops, and two-household or rule of six meeting in outside spaces.

Each phase will depend on a number of criteria being met, such as the vaccine being effective and hospitals being protected.

In May, when it is hoped bars and restaurants will be able to serve indoors, there are likely to be restrictions, such as groups being limited to two households or the rule of six.

Nightclubs may not be bale to return until the government has met its target of vaccinating the whole adult population by the end of July.