Calls grow for June bank holiday

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Calls grow for June bank holiday petition MP support Steve Baker Lockdown roadmap lifting of restrictions

Related tags Coronavirus lockdown Bank holiday

Calls are growing for the Government to make 21 June - the day when it is hoped all final Coronavirus restrictions can be lifted - a bank holiday.

Earlier this week, following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement of a four-stage roadmap to gradually ease lockdown measures in England​ between March and June, a petition​ calling for the bank holiday was launched and has so far received more than 24,000 signatures.

The campaign suggests the creation of a one-off bank holiday known as Merriweather Day on Monday 21 June 2021 as 'an opportunity for families and friends to come together'.

Should the petition reach 100,000 signatures then it will be debated in Parliament. 

Some MPs have already come out and backed the campaign, including Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey who suggested the day could also be used to commemorate the hard work of the NHS during the pandemic.

He told The Sun​: “The whole country needs a day off — a great British Summer bank holiday.

“That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for a bank holiday to commemorate carers on the day legal Covid restrictions disappear."

Under a four-stage plan for lifting restrictions in England, restaurants, pubs, hotels and B&Bs will be able to reopen for dine-in guests from 17 May 'at the earliest'.

As had been rumoured, outdoor hospitality settings including pub beer gardens will be able to reopen earlier than indoor ones and are scheduled to unlock from 12 April.

The final stage of the plan, currently planned for 21 June, will see night-time economy businesses, such as nightclubs, finally allowed to reopen after more than a year a closure.

All legal limits on mixing are expected to be removed at this time

Conservative MP Steve Baker has also put his support behind the idea of a one-off bank holiday, telling The Sun​ he’d be ‘delighted’ to see it happen.

A Downing Street spokesman refused to say whether the Prime Minister would support a bank holiday and stressed the Monday 21 June date was not yet set in stone.

Each stage of the roadmap will be set against four key tests that will determine if restrictions can be lifted.

Bank holidays are historically good for hospitality businesses.

Last year the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism (APPG) called on the Government to create an October bank holiday to boost trade in the sector.

VisitBritain also lobbied for an extra bank holiday to help make up for the two May bank holidays spent during the first nationwide lockdown.

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