The UK chief medical officers have recommended that the COVID-19 alert level move from level 4 to level 3, a week before the next step out of lockdown kicks off.

“Thanks to the efforts of the UK public in social distancing and the impact we are starting to see from the vaccination programme, case numbers, deaths and COVID hospital pressures have fallen consistently,” the experts said.

READ: The key dates out of lockdown

“However COVID is still circulating with people catching and spreading the virus every day so we all need to continue to be vigilant. This remains a major pandemic globally.”

At 5pm on Monday Boris Johnson is expected to confirm bars and restaurants in England will be able to resume indoor service, with other businesses such as cinemas also set to reopen.

People will be allowed to stay overnight with others not in their household or bubble, so the tourism sector can resume activities fully.

Indoor group sports and exercise classes will also be permitted to resume, while up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and funerals.

Cinema operator Cineworld Group PLC (LON:CINE) rose 3% to 95.69p while Wagamama owner Restaurant Group PLC (LON:RTN) added 2% to 129p on Monday before close.