In line with the Government’s roadmap to unlock the UK from the latest lockdown, a large part of the economy has reopened today (12 April) in a boost to consumer confidence.
Hairdressers, gyms and leisure facilities, as well as outdoor pubs and restaurants are among the businesses that can welcome customers back.
Queues of people braved the snow on Oxford Street, London, waiting from 8am outside Primark and sports shops to shop for deals inaccessible through online shopping for the last three months.
Pub gardens also reopened at midnight, which saw Britons across the country enjoying catch ups with friends in the freezing temperatures.
This start of reopening will be the beginning of a “rebound in consumption and output this year”, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, which predicts GDP to grow by 4% this year and regain its pre-pandemic level in 2022.
Some industry leaders warned against premature celebration, however, with the CEO of UK pub chain Young’s, Patrick Dardis, warning the Guardian to “not get too excited” about recovery as “at least half of UK pubs and 60% of restaurants will not be opening today, as the restrictions make it unviable”.
He added that 21 June 2021, when all restrictions are lifted, will be the day that “UK pubs and restaurants, as well as the economy, can start to rebuild”, pleading the Government to stick to its timeline.
This date is dependent on a number of Government reviews on social distancing, COVID-19 vaccine passports and the viability of large gatherings.
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