SOMERSET'S pubs and restaurants with outside areas are getting ready to open up again in just over a month following the easing of lockdown measures.

Among the pubs welcoming back customers from Monday, April 12, is the Ring of Bells, in St James Street, Taunton.

The Government is allowing hospitality venues with gardens and outdoor areas to serve customers from that date.

Then from May 17, pubs and restaurants will be able to seat customers indoors, with up to a maximum of six people or two households of any size, and groups seated outside of less than 30 people.

And, providing everything goes to plan, all restrictions will be lifted - and nightclubs will be allowed to open again.

Matt Harvey, of the Ring of Bells, has a marquee in his beer garden, where there are 18 tables. The pub will be opening seven days a week.

He said: "We have only opened for 16 weeks in the past year.

"We'll be opening on April 12 and all the staff are raring to go.

"The garden is undercover and heated. It will be all table service.

"There's a good amount of space, but we're expecting to be busy because there aren't that many pubs in Taunton with outside areas.

"I'd strongly advise people to book ahead to save disappointment."

Meanwhile, Wetherspoon has announced it is re-opening 394 of its pubs in England with gardens, roof top gardens and patios from Monday, April 12.

The Perkin Warbeck, in Taunton, will welcome customers to its roof garden

Other Wetherspoon pubs in Somerset re-opening the same day are the Cerdic, in Chard; The Carnival Inn, in Bridgwater; and Reeds Arm, in Burnham-on-Sea.

Most will open 9am to 9pm Sunday to Thursday and 9am to 10pm Friday and Saturday.

They will offer a slightly reduced menu, to include breakfast, burgers, pizza, deli deals, fish and chips and British classics. Food will be available from 9am to 8pm seven days a week.

Customers will be able to order and pay through the Wetherspoon app, however, Wetherspoon staff will be able to take orders and payment at the table from those who don’t have the app.

The Wetherspoon pubs will not be operating a booking system.

Customers will be able to enter the pub to gain access to the outside area and also to use the toilet.

Test and trace will be in operation and hand sanitisers will be available.

Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson said: “We are looking forward to welcoming our customers and staff back to our pubs.”