BRITS may have to wait a while before they can enjoy their favourite dinner and tipple anywhere other than their homes.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's lockdown roadmap states that pubs and restaurants will be unable to offer normal service until at least July.
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When will restaurants and pubs reopen?
The PM warned this weekend that the path out of lockdown would be "cautious but irreversible" and he plans to outline exactly what that may mean during a major roadmap announcement next Monday.
Some of his plans appear to have leaked early, however, with the Daily Mail reporting a month-by-month timeline of gradual lockdown easing.
In June, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to offer rule of six measures indoors before finally, in July, groups of unlimited size are allowed in, albeit with social distancing.
Outdoor drinking in pub back gardens could be back on the cards as soon as April, if cases continue to fall.
A government source told The Sun: “We will hopefully be sipping pints in the spring sunshine sooner rather than later.”
Unfortunately, sitting in a bar is unlikely to be allowed until May at the earliest according to industry insiders.
What else could be opening soon?
High street shops could also reopen within weeks if Covid rates keep tumbling.
Under the PM’s roadmap to take Britain out of lockdown, which is to be revealed next week, non-essential businesses are expected to reopen after schools do.
Schools are earmarked to reopen on March 8, and on this same day, you’ll be able to meet a pal outside for a coffee too.
Senior Tory backbenchers are also urging the PM to allow Covid-safe weddings to resume from March 8, and Brits could be allowed to take self-catered breaks by Easter.
However, this all depends on whether the reproductive rate of the virus stays low.
Do restaurants need to have an outdoor area to reopen?
Restaurants and pubs without outdoor eating and drinking areas have slammed the Government's plans to allow alfresco custom – branding the decision "grossly unfair".
Jeremy King, chief executive of fine dining group Corbin & King, said such a restriction would not allow the company to reopen its most famous restaurant, The Wolseley in Piccadilly.
He said: “It’s a nonsense. Last year the opportunity we were given for outdoor seating was laughable. It was a little strip of pavement behind a horrible green barrier on a camber which meant everything rolled off the table anyway.
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