Businesses across the North East reopen as we enter stage 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown

England has taken its next step out of coronavirus lockdown, giving millions of people a portion of their freedom back.

Confirming he was sticking to his roadmap for lifting restrictions, Boris Johnson thanked the public for their patience, "because it is really clear now that this is paying off".



Shops and Salons


Shops deemed non-essential have reopened, as have pubs and restaurants with outdoor dining, hairdressers, indoor gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers, nail salons and zoos in another stride back towards normality.

Hairdressers across the region had people queueing down the street.


Pubs


In Newcastle, Jonathan Bryce, the Licensing Manager for the city council, said "the city has its life-blood back" and you could feel like "positive vibes" as hospitality returned. The council recently fast-tracked dozens of pavement licenses to support more businesses returning.

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."


Social mixing indoors remains heavily restricted, with around 40% of adults yet to receive their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Mr Johnson urged caution during the "major step forward" as a scientist advising the government warned the rules must be followed to minimise a possible rebound in case numbers.