More than 45,000 pubs will throw open their doors on Monday to serve Britons a drink inside for the first time in 2021, latest figures from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have revealed.
On Monday London's restaurants, bars and pubs will be able to let customers indoors for the first time since the capital was put under Tier 3 restrictions in mid-December.
The BBPA's latest survey suggests that the day will see pub staff pull around 3 million pints in the day alone.
That is a lot of pints, but the BBPA said that on average around 4.6 million pints were served in British pubs on a pre-pandemic Monday. It put its subdued estimate for Monday down to the fact that 1 metre social distancing rules and table service only requirements still in place put some restriction on trading ability, despite being able to bring customers indoors.
Indoor tables can be no bigger than six or from two households, and the trade body also cautioned that city centre wet-led pubs with little or no outdoor space, which traditionally rely on being able to have drinkers standing at the bar as well as seated at tables, may not reopen.
The trade body estimates that around 2,000 of these pubs will remain closed until the full relaxation of restrictions - set for June 21 if Boris Johnson's roadmap goes according to plan.
The BBPA revealed last month that pub operators invested more than £285 million in supporting publicans in preparing their gardens for the al-fresco reopening back on April 12, helping pay for marquees, tepees, outdoor heaters and outdoor beer pumps and fridges.
Many pubs without substantial outdoor space remained closed over the past month, however, and many pubs that did open traded at a loss. It has been one of the coldest springs on record and the frequent inclement weather and social distancing requirements limited trading capacity.
On Friday BBPA chief executive, Emma McClarkin, said that "the countdown to freedom, and recovery, is on".
She said: “After some questionable weather during the last week or so, we know Brits are looking forward to being back inside the pub once more.
“Our pubs have been preparing for this Monday over the last couple of months... [But] this is by no means the end of the crisis for our sector. We need pubs fully reopened without any restrictions at all on June 21st if they are to survive and trade viably."
It comes as chefs and restaurateurs told the Standard they have been stunned by an “incredible and overwhelming” surge in bookings.
Many popular venues are already fully booked at peak slots for weeks from Monday, with enquiries said to be running at around twice pre-pandemic levels.
Many restaurants are reporting difficulty in recruiting the staff needed to meet the huge number of bookings.