On the high street, retailers showed a 30 percent rise in visitors on the previous week
Pubs and restaurants also received good news with indications that the two metre rule will be relaxed in time for their re-opening next month.
On the high street, retailers showed a 30 percent rise in visitors on the previous week, despite restrictions limiting customer numbers.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the “encouraging figures” proved that the country is ready to start on the road to economic recovery.
Whitehall sources have told the Sunday Express the announcement on hairdressers will be made officially in an address to the country next week by Boris Johnson.
It is understood reopening will be conditional on a series of safety measures.
These will include full face plastic shields by hairdressers, a no talking rule, wearing gloves, appointments only and distancing within salons and barbers.
It is expected that hairdressers will also need to have daily deep cleans of their premises.
The Prime Minister will also confirm that pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels and other parts of the hospitality industry will be able to throw open their doors on the same day.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the ‘encouraging figures’ proved that the country is ready to start on the road to economic recovery
Mr Johnson is also expected to say that July 4 will mark the end of the two-metre social distancing rule to allow the hospitality industry as well as shops to properly function.
One minister said: “July 4 could feel independence day from lockdown for a lot of people.”
Lockdown has been released in stages, with non-essential shops able to open their doors last week for the first time since March.
Customer numbers were a third up from the previous week.
Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director for Springbroad, which compiled the data, said this was a strong result as most stores are only allowing a third of the customers numbers they served before the pandemic.
She said: “Obviously there is a lot of demand and people want to get back to some sort of normality, being able to go and visit shops helps them to do that.”
Mr Johnson is also expected to say that July 4 will mark the end of the two-metre social distancing rule
Mr Sunak told the Sunday Express: “These figures are really encouraging and will be reassuring for shop owners across the country.
“They show the hard work of businesses to make their stores covid secure is paying off and I want to thank each and every one of them for that.
“Reopening our economy safely and boosting confidence is the best way to protect jobs.
“We are facing tough times ahead but I have every faith we will pull through by working together.”
The Chancellor, who was visiting Northallerton High Street in North Yorkshire, urged even more people to get out shopping.
He said: “Our much-loved high streets are a cornerstone of the British way of life, providing jobs up and down the country. At this critical moment in our country’s history, it’s essential that we show them our support as they open their doors again.
Hairdressers will be given the green light to reopen on July 4
“It’s going to take a national effort to help the economy recover from the virus. So, I urge people across the country to back local business and shop safely.”
Mr Sunak also appeared to confirm that the change to the two metre rule is coming.
He said that the review of the two-metre rule, due out next week, will “make an enormous difference” to businesses.
He said: “The outcome of that review will be announced this week, obviously that’s something that will make an enormous difference I think to many businesses who are keen to see a change.
“Obviously we need to go through that review but I’m very understanding of the calls for action on that, particularly for our hospitality industry, for our pubs, for our restaurants, (they) are keen to see if there’s some change that can be made there.”
Meanwhile, a new poll has suggested that a majority of people would like to see the 2 metre rule reduced after the risk level went down this week from 4 to 3.
The survey by market research company Bonneville Associates for Berkmann Wine Cellars of 1,932 UK residents found 51 percent of people are comfortable with social distancing being reduced from two metres to one.
Almost 60 percent of frequent restaurant goers are in favour and keen to support measures that will safeguard jobs and help the hospitality sector recover from the lockdown.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said that the drop from 2 metres to 1 would be “the difference between surviving and businesses going to the wall and not being able to reopen when this crisis ends”.
According to UK Hospitality, having a 1-metre rule means most businesses can earn 70 percent of their normal revenue, which would allow them to stay afloat.
Ms Nicholls said: “It’s absolutely critical we have that date confirmed without delay. We are right at the deadline.”
But there has been a demand for clarity for rural pubs from the Countryside Alliance amid fears that many pubs which are hubs of village communities could disappear.
A survey of pubs by the Countryside Alliance showed that 60 percent are planning for an early July opening, but many fear the current 2 metre social distanced guidance, could make longer term trade after the initial rush difficult, as many rural pubs are 18th century builds if not much older.
Pubs and restaurants also received good news with indications that the two metre rule will be relaxed in time for their re-opening
Many landlords and pub owners have expressed concern at having to pick up information solely from the news.
Landlords have alluded to worsened mental health triggered by the uncertainty, with many fearing a sudden announcement signalling a reopen, could catch them off guard and plunge them into financial ruin.
Sarah Lee of the Countryside Alliance said: “Pubs form part of the backbone of many rural communities and have a key role in the fight against social isolation and loneliness. It’s clear many in the pub trade need to know whether they are going to be able to safely resume trade by the 4th July, but at the moment they are in limbo and struggling to ascertain where to seek guidance or the correct information.
“A huge amount of time and effort needs to be put into being ready and with two weeks to go, they currently don’t know where they stand.”
The new confidence comes as the latest figures revealed the lowest jump in deaths recorded on a Saturday since lockdown began.
Today the virus death toll increased by 128 bringing the total in hospitals, care homes and the community to 42,589.