Leeds' bar, restaurant and B&B owners gear up for welcoming customers back across the threshold once more as lockdown restrictions ease

Bars, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs across Leeds are gearing up to welcoming customers back across the threshold tomorrow as England pushes ahead with the third stage of the road map out of lockdown.

Sunday, 16th May 2021, 5:51 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 9:54 am

From tomorrow, pubs and restaurants will be able to welcome customers back indoors, household visits will resume and the foreign holiday ban will end.

Hugs and other physical contact between households will be permitted for the first time since restrictions began more than a year ago.

Lily Prescott, owner of Wapentake cafe bar, in Leeds city centre, said: "We are really excited about being able to welcome people inside.

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Stephanie and Matthew Cliffe at The Assembly in Cross Gates, Leeds.

"We are going to spend Monday and Tuesday getting everything set up but from Wednesday we will be open as usual.

"Our chefs will be back and we will be back to putting on our usual brunch menu."

Lily took over the Kirkgate venue with friend Connor at the start of November.

She added: "It has been reassuring to see so many customers outside over the past weeks - even when it has been raining.

"We've only had fives beers on but we will be getting more lines in once we open properly."

Stephanie Cliffe, owner of The Assembly, in Cross Gates, said she was looking forward to welcoming customers back to the popular bar.

Stephanie and husband Matthew are also opening a second bar on Main Street, Garforth, this week.

She said: "It will be really nice to be able to welcome people back inside and it feels like a good week to be able to get the second business up and running.

"It's an exciting time and hopefully it will take us one step closer back to normality."

Cinemas, hotels and B&Bs will also be allowed to reopen on Monday, as the "rule of six" will be applied to indoor meetings, while physical distancing ends between friends and family.

James Lamb, landlord of the New Masons Arms, in Oulton, said: "We are really looking forward to opening the B&B side of the business again as we head towards the summer months.

"Things have been going well on the food and drink side so far. Hopefully this should give us another boost."

Indoor entertainment such as museums and children's play areas can also open from tomorrow, as can theatres, concert halls, conference centres and sports stadiums.

Organised adult sports and exercise classes can restart indoors. Steam rooms and saunas may also reopen

Though the Government is continuing with Monday's relaxation, the Prime Minister has warned the Indian variant could jeopardise plans to end legal restrictions on June 21.

Clubs and gatherings of more than 30 people indoors will remain prohibited until the fourth and final phase of the road map.