Pubs and clubs in Swindon were offered hope by Boris Johnson after the prime minister unveiled his lockdown roadmap yesterday. 

Under the plans, restaurants with outdoor seating can reopen no earlier April 12, although the rule of six and two-household rules will apply.

Five weeks after, no earlier than May 17, could see the indoor hospitality sector fully reopen under the same conditions.

Social contact restrictions could be removed completely as early as June 21, with nightclubs being allowed to open their doors for the first time in more than a year.

Manni Madhani, who runs The Bank in Old Town, is relieved to finally have an opening date.

The Bank operates as a restaurant but has a bar and club space on its first floor.

Mr Madhani said: “I’ve always said it would be around the end of May, if it’s only outdoor then the business isn’t viable. 

“If they’re going to allow the nightclub to open in June then all restrictions will be lifted and my restaurant will be a piece of cake. 

“We’ll be back trading in June and there’s a relief in hearing that.”

Despite the date announcement, Mr Madhani is still cautious about Covid case numbers going up again.

He added: “As long as there are infections they’re not going to let people mix. 

“If you look at the rest of the world, they’re only allowing their doors to open when they’ve got hardly any infections. 

“Brisbane had zero, then had two cases and went into lockdown again. 

“They’ve given us hope to settle us, but they might take that away because I still strongly believe if infections start going up again and the vaccine isn’t effective, they’re not going to lift it.

“But it’s nice to have a little bit of hope.”

Alun Rossiter, who owns the Southbrook Inn, believes pubs should reopen on May 17 and labelled the decision to open earlier with outdoor seating as "pathetic".

The Swindon speedway legend said: “Does Boris know we’re going to have a heatwave in April? It’s stupid. 

“You can have 30 people at a funeral but are they allowed inside a pub? It’s so unclear. 

“Unless he knows we’re going to have a heatwave in April, nobody’s going to sit outside. It’s pathetic. 

“Why doesn’t he just say you’re not opening until May? People are going to put all their electric on and get everything on but it’s a waste. It’s absolutely ludicrous.

“If we were in Spain or the Bahamas I could understand, but not here, certainly not in April.”