Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that indoor hospitality will be clear to resume in England on 17 May.
In a press conference held at Downing Street, Johnson indicated as the coronavirus case numbers have reduced, the next stage of the roadmap to recovery will happen at the previously-announced earliest opportunity of next Monday.
He said: “We have met our four tests for further easing the lockdown in England. With deaths and hospitalisations at their lowest level since last July, the data now supports moving to step three in England from Monday 17 May.”
However, foodservice sites will still be subject to the rule of six, with no more than six people from two households allowed per booking, until at least 21 June. The Prime Minister also advised people to continue to follow social distancing when not with friends and family.
He was positive about prospects going forward, saying: “I am confident we will be able to go further. Subject to the impact of step three on the data, we remain on track to move to step four on 21 June.”
The government is expected to carry out a review into social distancing before it moves to step four of the unlocking though. It will investigate when and where the 1metre-plus rule can be lifted. This will be vital to getting foodservice sites back to full capacity – and in many cases will make the difference to them being profitable.