THE prime minister's announcement that shops, hairdressers and pub beer gardens will reopen from April 12 in England has divided opinion amongst readers.

Confirming the next step on the road map out of lockdown, Boris Johnson told a Downing Street press conference on Monday that he was looking forward to a pint of beer in a week's time.

But, he said the difficulties facing other countries in Europe illustrated the risks still posed by the pandemic and urged caution.

Mr Johnson said: "We can't be complacent.

"We can see the waves of sickness affecting other countries and we have seen how this story goes.

"We still don't know how strong the vaccine shield will be when cases begin to rise, as I'm afraid that they will, and that's why we are saying please get your vaccine - or your second dose - when your turn comes."

He also encouraged people to use free NHS tests as part of the drive to identify cases without symptoms.

Darren Gill said: "Lockdown by end of April."

Lori Boo Robbo said: "We have to start to come out of lockdown, businesses need to re-open, the only thing I think people should hold back on is travelling abroad and take a vacation in the UK, because we all know the going in and out of the country will bring Covid back in.

"It should only be for exceptional circumstances."

Lisa Smith said: "Lori Boo Robbo I totally agree."

Michael Vandom said: "Lori Boo Robbo your story has changed.

"Am guessing you had your vaccine?"

Lori Boo Robbo said: "Michael Vandom no it hasn't, the rate of infection has fallen and so we start to ease lockdown."

GP Rose said: "The EU blue looks very impressive behind him."

Tony Moon said: "Third wave of pandemic then."

Christine Johnson said: "Tony Moon they've got to let things open sometime, we can't stay in lockdown for ever."