The Prime Minister has said the “national hibernation” is beginning to end, and “life is returning to our streets”, as he unearthed a raft of new rule relaxations.

Under the changes announced by Boris Johnson, which will take force from July 4, indoor gatherings involving two separate households will be permitted - including the possibility of visiting reopened pubs and restaurants - but social distancing will need to be maintained.

The two-metre rule will be eased, replaced with a “one-metre plus” measure, with the protection offered by the physical distance enhanced by other mitigation measures such as the use of face coverings, increased hygiene or layout changes in premises.

Pubs are slowly beginning to plan to reopen their doors for the first time in almost three months.

Workington bars Soul Suite and The Junction, which are run by father and daughter duo Lloyd and Christina Burnie, have welcomed the news.

Christina explained: “We are going to have a look and see how it will work reopening.

“But we are going to do everything we can to reopen.

“The news is really welcome news because we have been closed for a long time. We’ve had support from the government but we have 25 staff on furlough and anything we can do we will.

“The business will have to adapt and things will be different but we will be reopening.”

Mike Grierson of the Royal Scot, Carlisle, is excited to be reopening his doors again.

He said: “It’s good news people are ready to be able to use their local pubs and be able to catch up with friends and family keeping one metre apart which will become the new normal for awhile. We are looking forward to seeing our new and old customers.

“We really are lucky ere at the Royal Scot with having a massive beer garden that will help for social distancing.

“I think the majority of people will use their common sense when it comes to living with the new normal.”

Gail Atkinson the landlady of The Puncheon Inn, Whitehaven, is pleased to be opening her doors once again to the public.

She said: “We will be opening again and I’m pleased in a way but I’d like to know what measures are going to be put in place and I’d like to know what’s going to be put in place to keep people safe. But I’m pleased to be reopening again.”

The Gin and Beer It Bar and Kitchen, Whitehaven, has taken the decision not to reopen on July 4.

Louise Pegram of the bar and kitchen, said: “We are not planning to reopen on 4 July.

“We will continue with our successful takeaway food and drink offering until we feel it’s the right time to open. We don’t want to rush into anything.

“Our customers safety and our own safety is the most important to us.”

Owners of a hotel which spent the first eight weeks of lockdown giving free food to the NHS have greeted with relief the news that pubs can reopen.

Stephanie Skelly of the Georgian House hotel in Whitehaven said she was looking forward to a staff meeting. She said: “We have 11 staff who have all been furloughed. Today we can start making preparations to reopen.”

She said the one metre plus distance will make a difference “although we will still only be able to have about 50 per cent of normal capacity.”

Within minutes of the Government announcement she was getting bookings for tables, she said.

She said news that the hotel accommodation would also be able to be opened was “fabulous.”

When lockdown began she and partner Lee Martin spent weeks preparing food parcels to donate to NHS and care workers.

Tracey Bowman, of the Andalusian in Carlisle is still working on making it safe and pleasant to reopen.

She wants her customers to feel welcome, while also still feeling safe with the social distancing rule in place, they’re unsure if they will reopen on July 4 but will keep their customers updated.

She said: “It’s great news and we are still looking at how it can work for us.”