Covid roadmap: How UK's second largest city Birmingham prepares to reopen for April 12

Credit: Stacey Barnfield

The UK's second largest city, Birmingham, is gearing up to reopen in the next stage of the prime minister's roadmap for easing coronavirus restrictions on April 12.

Non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopen for the first time in months - and the 'stay local' message will end, meaning some domestic holidays will be possible.

So how will Birmingham reopen on April 12 as Covid restrictions ease?

Pubs and restaurants to open outdoors in Birmingham Victoria Square

Outdoor seating will be set up in Birmingham's Victoria Square to help struggling pubs and restaurants as they reopen from lockdown.

The outdoor space will be open from April 12 and there will be seats for around 120 people, the Colmore Business Improvement District (BID) has confirmed.

There will be a band stand put in Victoria Square in Birmingham for outdoor performances during the summer. Credit: Birmingham Jazz and Blues Festival

Chief Executive Michele Wilby said it wanted to encourage people to come back to the city in a "safe and measured way".

Ms Wilby also announced that a band stand will be there for live music and entertainment throughout the summer and the space will be free for anyone to use and will be open 24 hours a day.

It comes as pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve food and alcohol outdoors from April 12.

Unlike restrictions in December last year, there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew.

But there will be no standing at the bar, as customers must order, eat and drink while seated.

The rule of six will apply (up to six people, or two separate households) as will social distancing rules. You will be required to wear a face covering when not seated.

Shoppers are often quick to line up for Primark in Birmingham as restrictions eased in 2020. Credit: PA

Will shops be open and when does Primark open in Birmingham?

Non-essential retail, including clothes shops such as the world's biggest Primark in the city, are also earmarked to open again, bringing some relief to the embattled high street.

Initially, Primark stores will open for two extra hours per day on average, typically an hour earlier and later. Times will vary by store but the Primark on Birmingham's High Street will open at 7am.

Face coverings will be mandatory for anyone who is not exempt and social distancing rules will also remain in force.

A brand new designer outlet village will also open on April 12 in the West Midlands - just 30 minutes drive from Birmingham in Cannock.

It will feature more than 80 fashion brands including Nike, Calvin Klein, Reiss, Dune, Hobbs and Adidas.

What will be happening on Broad Street?

Broad Street's bars have largely been deserted during the pandemic. Credit: SnapperSK

Birmingham's Broad Street and the nearby Brindley Place are likely to be popular as outdoor hospitality reopens from April 12.

There will be new outdoor areas including a marquee on Gas Street as parking bays will be suspended on both sides of the road.

Is there anything going on in the Jewellery Quarter?

There will be additional outdoor spots for bars and restaurants near Water Street and St Paul's Square and there will be additional temporary outdoor seating so people can socialise outdoors.

All the new outdoor areas will be in place until May 17 when the ban on indoor hospitality will lift.