PUB landlords say they are gearing up for a big return by the end of next week.

It follows television announcements by Health Secretary Matt Hancock MP suggesting measures will be set out this week to allow venues to reopen on July 4.

He said the Government will announce plans to ditch the strict guidance to keep two metres apart as the number of cases of coronavirus falls.

“We’re clearly on track for that plan because (of) the number of cases coming down, and the plan does refer to hospitality and some of the other things that are closed that so many people want to see open,” Mr Hancock said.

It has been welcomed by landlady Andrea Manthorpe from the Cobden Arms in Brighton. The hostelry which won The Argus’s award for Pub of the Year in 2018.

She said: “We are ready to reopen, and if the rules are relaxed that would be great.

“Most publicans I speak to are ready and will have protective equipment, screens, and hand sanitiser in place.

“We have everything here for our customers to come in and be safe. We are more than ready to reopen.

“Our patrons can’t wait for us to open our doors again, and through the lockdown we’ve had lots of good feedback.”

But there is concern about a lack of detail given by the Government to pubs, restaurants and hairdressers yet.

Andrea said there have not been any announcements so far.

She said: “We do feel a little bit in the dark. We need to know what Boris Johnson will do for the restrictions. They need to alleviate the problem we face with a two-metre rule.”

Her concerns were echoed by pub boss and Albion fan John Pendry from Brighton, who runs pubs in Hastings and Tunbridge Wells.

He said: “We have been ready to reopen for months, but we definitely need more clarity.”