Leeds residents return to bars and restaurants across the city on grand day of reopening

Leeds residents returned to bars and restaurants across the city today on the grand day of reopening.

By Daniel Sheridan
Monday, 17th May 2021, 5:21 pm
Updated Monday, 17th May 2021, 5:22 pm

From Monday (May 17), pubs and restaurants are able to welcome customers back indoors, household visits can resume and the foreign holiday ban has ended.

Many Leeds residents headed to their favourite venues around Leeds today - with some sneaking in a pint during their lunch break or meeting friends.

The city centre was busy with both inside and outside seating areas now available as options for hospitality.

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Friends who met at Uni enjoy a reunion pint at Whitelocks, Leeds, Luke Neild, Jack Kirk and Thomas Walker cc Steve Riding/JPI

Ben Chatterton, General Manager of Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen in Leeds city centre, said he was "super happy" to be able to open the bar doors again.

He told the YEP that customers to the bar had shown "dedication" throughout inclement weather in the past few weeks and have now been rewarded.

Mr Chatterton said: "We’re super happy to be back open and able to welcome people back inside again, especially with the current weather.

"Although the dedication from customers over the last couple of weeks has been impressive!

Martin Womersley enjoys his first pints inside a pub at Whitelocks, Leeds since lockdown cc Steve Riding/JPI

"They’ve sat under the umbrellas on the roof terrace in territorial rain, still enjoying their pizza and pints and just really embracing it.

"We’re looking forward to the summer months and the return of live music later on in the year."

Tom Huffinley, from Morley, was one of the first to visit Kirkstall Brewery this afternoon for a pint with his work mates.

He said he was very impressed with the service inside the bar.

Tom told the YEP: "Eight of us went across from work, split across 2 tables.

"The service was efficient and the food and drink was as impressive as always.

"The venue is well designed to keep everyone inside Covid secure."

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

Indoor entertainment such as museums and children's play areas can also open from Monday, 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 under the new rules.

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.