PUBS and hotels are excited at the prospect of reopening on July 4 after working hard during lockdown to be ready.

"Yes we are very pleased and excited to be opening again and can’t wait to welcome all our lovely customers back," said Marie Elliott from The Crown on Walney.

South Lakes Hotels group, who run six different hotels across south Cumbria, have spent £150,000 refurbishing and making sure their hotels are ready to welcome guests back safely including a new contactless entry system.

Jonathan Denby, managing director of South Lakes Hotels, said: “We are extremely excited to hear the news that we can reopen, as well as that social distancing has been reduced.

“Also, we are very excited to be the first hotel in the Lake District to offer the extra peace of mind which the contactless entry system offers.

“All the bedroom locks at the Riverside and Damson Dene have been replaced to facilitate contactless entry.

"It’s a beautifully simple system.

“In addition we have invested in sanitising machines and the staff have been rigorously trained in all the new safety procedures.

“All the staff who were furloughed are returning to work and they are raring to go.

"Their enthusiasm is heartwarming.

"We really do want to prove that the Lake District is the best."

The bosses of pub groups Wetherspoons and Greene King welcomed the decision, despite some continued uncertainty over exact measures needed for pub sites and how customers will react next month.

"We are extremely pleased that pubs are reopening on July 4 after a long hiatus," said Tim Martin, Wetherspoon chairman.

"We are going to discuss the precise Government proposals with our pub managers and staff before we comment further on the details."

Greene King chief Nick Mackenzie said: "It is a welcome relief for pub operators, our team members who want to get back to work and of course our customers who have been missing their local pub."