THE city's pubs, bars and restaurants are set to be allowed to reopen outdoors from mid-April as part of the government's plan to end coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced outdoor hospitality could resume from April 12 as part of the government's four-step plan to ease Covid restrictions and bring the country out of lockdown.

Up to six people from separate households could be able to meet in beer gardens from that date with hairdressers and gyms also allowed to reopen.

Six people or two households should be able to meet indoors - including pubs, bars and restaurants - from May 17 under plans.

Mr Johnson told MPs on Monday (February 22) that the plan aimed to be "cautious but irreversible" and decisions would be led by "data not dates" at every stage.

Sticking to the proposed dates will depend on the success of the vaccination programme, current infection rates and whether any new variants are found, he said.

Nigel Smith, landlord at the Cardinal’s Hat in Friar Street, said he was happy to see a potential date that pubs could reopen but was also hoping the hospital industry would continue to receive government support.

“I’m very pleased that at least we have some indication about the direction of travel and the speed at which e can get trading,” he said. “Given the fact that it is April that we can start trading outdoors that means we should be fortunate enough to get going a little bit and do a bit of business and be able to look after our customers who I know are desperate to have a pint in a pub.”

“Not having the substantial meal and curfew is a very positive step to help people use pubs. I totally understand why the timescales have been put down and I would much rather that we moved forward slowly than forwards then backwards then forwards again.”

Mr Smith said he hoped that pubs and the rest of the hospitality industry continued to receive support through furlough payments, reduced VAT and grant money.

“We can see the end,” he added. “The doors are opening but this is possibly the most difficult time for people financially after the very difficult winter.