EXCITEMENT is brewing with large sections of the economy due to unlock in a major easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Staff at hotels, pubs, museums and other businesses will welcome people inside from Monday.

Hospitality will be able to reopen properly after pubs and restaurants were restricted to serving punters outside only.

From May 17:

- People will be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30.

- People will be able to meet indoors in groups of six, or two households.

- Pubs and restaurants will be able to serve customers indoors, although they will be limited to table service.

- Cinemas, museums, theatres and concert halls will be allowed to reopen although there will be capacity limits on large events.

- The "stay in the UK" restriction will lift and people will be able to travel to "green list" countries, such as Portugal although they are still being advised not to go to destinations on the amber list.

- Up to 30 people will be allowed at weddings

- The cap on the number of mourners attending funerals will be lifted, in line with the safe capacity of the venue.

- Secondary school pupils will no longer be told to wear face masks in class and communal areas.

- University students will return to campus for in-person lectures.

Donna Conroy, of Abbey House Hotel and Gardens, Barrow, said several bookings had been made by eager visitors.

“It’s a big relief to be able to open to leisure guests for the first time since December 30,” she said.

“It’s been really busy with bookings for the hotel and the restaurant.

“There are lots of people who want to visit the Lake District.”

The hotel has stayed open on certain days for essential workers.

During that time staff have been redecorating and deep cleaning the hotel, with Abbey House now ready to open.

Weddings ceremonies will also be allowed and the first of these are booked at the hotel at the end of the month.

“We’re really excited,” she said.

For a number of pubs, May 17 will mark the first time since the start of the current lockdown that they have been operating.

The Crown on Walney was among the venues that stayed close but bosses took to social media yesterday to welcome back pub-goers.

Barrow’s Dock Museum is due to reopen on May 19 while the town’s laser quest, in Rawlinson Street, will be back on May 17.

The easing of restrictions has been welcomed by Colin Cox, Cumbria’s director of public health.

He said: “Rates in Cumbria are among some of the lowest in the country. It’s absolutely the right time.

“When you look at the data the number of cases have continued to decline.”