THE i360 will welcome back visitors from next week, it has been announced.

The seafront attraction will reopen on May 17, as venues across the county prepare to open their doors in the next stage of the government's roadmap to recovery.

Preparations are underway to get the attraction ready for operation next week.

Crews from the i360's technology team scaled the 530-foot structure ahead of the venues reopening to carry out work.

Pictures taken from the top of the pod show crews wearing protective equipment, while they harness themselves onto the viewing pod.

The British Airways i360 Twitter account read: "Got a head for heights?

"Our fearless tech team have been busy preparing the BA i360 pod for reopening.

"We can’t wait to welcome you back on board on Monday 17th May!"

The move to the next stage of the road map out of lockdown on May 17 came as the Covid-19 alert level in the UK was downgraded after a “consistent” fall in cases, hospital admissions and deaths.

The Argus: Crews working on the i360Crews working on the i360

The four chief medical officers of the UK have said the threat level should be reduced thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and social distancing restrictions.

Confirmation that England would move to step three on the road map came from Mr Johnson at a Downing Street press conference after a Cabinet meeting to sign off the change.

The biggest easing of lockdown measures so far is designed to encourage people to take more personal responsibility for managing the risks posed by the virus.

People will be given the choice on whether to remain two metres from family or friends, meaning they can once again hug and shake hands.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “What the public need to understand is that we are moving away from delivering a specific instruction on this point to advising the public that, because of the success of the vaccine rollout and the public abiding by the rules, we are at the point where everyone can use their own personal judgment.”