One pub landlady said staff were ‘raring to go’ as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of lockdown.

Pubs and restaurants are being told they can open from April 12 but only for outdoor tables and beer gardens.

Customers will have to be seated but there will be no need to have a meal with alcohol.

Then, from May 17, pubs will be allowed to reopen indoors.

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Deborah Hall, who runs the Rose & Crown in North Parade Avenue, with husband Andrew and son Adam, said: “It’s been a difficult time for everyone but we are now raring to go.

Adam Hall outside The Rose & Crown in North Parade Avenue Oxford

“We do have some outside space so we can take advantage of that and now we need to organise staff so that we are ready to reopen.

“It has been difficult in the past year closing and opening again, with the different tiers and the lockdowns.”

Mrs Hall added that road closure plans for North Parade Avenue could allow drinkers to gather outside the front of the pub as well as using the seating at the back.

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Edward Whinney, who runs The White Rabbit pub in Friars Entry in the city centre, said reopening could not come soon enough.

Boris Johnson Picture: PA

Boris Johnson Picture: PA

He added: “We are still some way off reopening fully so that’s a bit of a blow but we will just have carry on doing the best we can.

“It’s been difficult for the staff who are sitting at home furloughed, not earning as much, so it’s a struggle for them both mentally and financially.”

The pub is continuing to serve its takeaway pizzas through its website and delivery apps like Deliveroo.

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Dave Richardson, spokesman for the Oxford branch of real ale group CAMRA, said pubs opening indoors in May ‘seemed a long way off’.

Dave Richardson of Oxford branch of CAMRA

Dave Richardson of Oxford branch of CAMRA

He added: “Pubs need support from the Chancellor in the forthcoming budget.

"The furlough scheme needs to continue - pubs have been forced to close for about half of the past 12 months.”