Pubs in the North East are preparing to reopen on Monday as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

  • Report by Kris Jepson

Pubs in the North East are carrying out last minute preparations ahead of reopening on Monday as the coronavirus lockdown is eased.

Hairdressers, non-essential shops, indoor gyms, swimming pools, libraries, zoos and nail salons will also reopen.Under the measures, the 10pm curfew at pubs and requirement to buy a 'substantial meal' when buying a drink will be scrapped.

International holidays are still prohibited, different households cannot mix indoors though overnight stays in self-contained accommodation with members of your support bubble or household can continue.

Shops can extend their opening hours to 10pm, allowing for more social distancing.

Outdoor seating area at Ye Old Elm Tree Credit: Tyne Tees

One pub in Durham has revamped its outdoor parking area to build decking and outdoor seating arrangements to allow for more customers to buy drinks, whilst keeping socially distanced.

Terry Haley from the Ye Old Elm Tree in the City of Durham told ITV News that to survive the pandemic and adapt to the new rules, the pub had to be flexible and made adjustments.

Terry said he feels optimistic about the rest of the year: "The vaccines are rolling out. People are building immunity. We've learnt to deal with this situation so the way we're looking at it now is, we've got less left to deal with than what we've dealt with already, so we're coming down the hill now as opposed to going up the hill and everyone's eager to get back to work."

A lot of us have sat around for the last six months and we've missed the busiest time of year with Christmas and we're just ready to get back and hopefully we'll have a good summer.

Terry Haley, Pub Landlord
The British Beer and Pub Association warned that only around 40% of pubs will have enough space to allow them to operate outdoors.

The British Beer and Pub Association welcomes the reopening of businesses on Monday, but has warned that only around 40 per cent of pubs in England will have enough space to allow them to operate an outdoor service.

Chief Executive, Emma McClarkin, told ITV News the pubs that do open will be "loss making and not making a profit" as opening with the 'outdoor-only' restrictions "severely limits our opening capacity".

"It is a very busy time. As an industry we have invested over £500 million in making sure our venues are Covid secure, but many of those have gone above and beyond to invest in their outdoor areas to make sure they are hospitable places and hopefully maybe a little bit of heat from a heater or a blanket will be there as well for you."

If your local pub is opening, please go and support them. It's been a devastating time for the pub sector and they will need your support.

Emma McClarkin, The British Beer and Pub Association Chief Executive

If infection rates can be kept at a safe low level and the vaccination programme continues to be successful, the government's reopening roadmap will also see socialising indoors allowed under "the rule of six" from 17 May.