Pubs could reopen as soon as April 2 according to a roadmap out of lockdown.
The three-stage plan is reported to have been signed off by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and also includes proposals to reopen schools from March 8 and non-essential retail at some point later that month.
The roadmap suggests the scrapping of regional tiers, which saw different restrictions in different parts of the country last year, in favour of a country-wide approach.
Schools, pubs and non-essential shops have been closed since early January as the government imposed wide-ranging lockdown measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
It’s expected to be made public in nine days’ time, WalesOnline reports.
The roadmap is dependent on infection rates continuing to fall, meaning that these dates are not set in stone.
And, as reported, social distancing measures could be with us much longer after we leave lockdown, with the government considering having the two-metre rule and face masks in force until late in 2021.
And if pubs do reopen in April, it may be that only takeaway or outdoor pints are allowed, the Sun reported last night. Other hospitality businesses are expected to reopen in May.
The coronavirus lockdown restrictions are currently being reviewed by the government and Mr Johnson has pledged to make an announcement on the roadmap on February 22.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “We keep the latest data and evidence under constant review and on 22 February, subject to the findings, we will set out our plan for reopening schools and gradually reopening our economy and society.”
A Government official is quoted as saying: “My understanding is the Prime Minister is encouraged by a slew of data coming out that shows the positive impact the current lockdown has had.
“By March, there’s also a good chance that almost, if not all over-50s and younger vulnerable groups would have been given at least their first dose of a vaccine.
“The optimism is increasing at Downing Street and we may well be enjoying a pint in the pub by Easter if the data continues to improve in the coming weeks.”