British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced pubs, restaurants, cinemas and museums in England will be able to reopen from 4 July.
The government says it will relax its social distancing guidelines from two metres to one metre, which means that pubs will be able to allow customers inside, rather than just sell takeaway beer.
I can't wait for the pubs to reopen. The first pub I will be visiting will be wetherspoons just to melt a few snowflakes. God bless Tim Martin. #PubsReopening— Belfast Magpie (@thebelfastmagp1) June 23, 2020
On Tuesday, 23 June, Mr Johnson said: "While we remain vigilant, we do not believe there is a risk of a second wave of infections."
He said the virus was on the retreat and said: "We created a human shield around the NHS and our doctors and nurses have protected us."
The government believes the reopening of pubs, restaurants and cinemas will help to kickstart the British economy, which has stalled since the beginning of the lockdown in March.
2️⃣➡️1️⃣ Social distancing reduced from 2m to 1m— Joy Morrissey MP (@joymorrissey) June 23, 2020
👥 Meetings of two households
🍻 Restaurants and pubs to reopen
✂️ Hairdressers to reopen
🛌 Hotels and campsites to reopen
☀️ Outdoor leisure activities can resume
⛪️ Places of worships to reopen
Because of devolution, Mr Johnson's announcement only applies to England but politicians in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to follow his step.
Mr Johnson said: "We trust the British public to use their common sense in awareness of the risk. The more we open up the more vigilant we will have to be."
The prime minister said pubs and restaurants would have to provide table service, so customers will not be able to queue at the bar for their pints.
Now the really good news. Restaurants and pubs to reopen from July 4. Hairdressers opening too. my pony tail will have to wait for another lockdown— Andrew Pierce (@toryboypierce) June 23, 2020
He also allowed the reopening of hairdressing salons and barbers and said nail salons may also be able to reopen.
Britain has Europe's highest death toll from the virus and is third in the world behind the United States and Brazil.
PM Johnson announcing pubs are to reopen from July 4th— RANsquawk (@RANsquawk) June 23, 2020
Mr Johnson said: "The virus has not gone away. We will continue to monitor data. There will be flare-ups and we will not hesitate to apply the brakes even at national level if required."
He said: "Our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end and life is returning to our streets and our shops. A new and cautious optimism is palpable."
The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, welcomed Mr Johnson's announcement and said: "Any unlocking posing a risk and it needs to be monitored and there needs to be support for local councils if there are local outbreaks."
Pubs reopen from July 4 because the government know that Arsenal fans are going to need a strong drink after Wolves away that evening.— James Benge (@jamesbenge) June 23, 2020