LANDLORDS say they are ready to welcome customers next week after Boris Johnson confirmed plans to reopen pub gardens, along with non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers.

The next stage of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown will take place as planned on April 12, the prime minister confirmed on Monday. 

Bars and restaurants across Swindon last welcomed people for food and drink in December, with only takeaway and delivery services allowed since.

Pubgoers will only be allowed in outdoor spaces until May 17, when the next step could see customers allowed indoors. 

Manni Madhani, who owns The Bank in Old Town, is supporting the decision and says it will give the town's economy a lift. 

He told the Adver: “The government has been working really hard and we are at the moment very pleased to get the announcement. 

“We’re making sure we’re ready and looking after the premises, keeping the hygiene up and not letting it slip to make sure we don’t have anything wrong there. 

“I think getting the businesses up and running is the key thing and Swindon will thrive.”
Manni is urging people to support local businesses in Swindon after a year like no other. 

He said: “I just want to ask people to support local businesses, not just mine. Stay local, shop local, keep the economy going in Swindon.”

Co-owner of the Patriot’s Arms in Chiseldon Sunny Patel is relived.

He said: “We had to close just before Christmas, so we are really excited to be able to reopen our doors to the community. We are working round the clock to make sure it is ready. 

“We’re looking forward to welcoming our community with a lot of confidence, because the vaccination rollout is going well in Swindon.

“We have a really big garden, and a play area for children as well. People can enjoy the pub in a safe environment.”

General manager of The Merlin pub Robbie Duffy said: "We are really excited to be re opening and to welcome everyone back.

"Things are going really well at the moment, we recently had a new TV installed outside so people can still visit to enjoy their favourite sports fixtures.

"We have also added additional tables to accomodate more guests outside. We follow government legislation to ensure our staff and customers are safe."

When asked about the potential introduction of vaccine passports, Manni said: “I don’t know how it’s going to help.

“I personally think it’s adding an extra which is going to be very difficult to sustain any actual practical evidence of any infection.

“I don’t think it’s going to achieve anything.”

Sunny said more people should be offered the jab first before introducing such a measure.