BURY North MP James Daly has welcomed the confirmation of the latest easing of lockdown restrictions, saying it represents "the light at the end of a dark tunnel".

Shops, hairdressers and pub beer gardens will reopen from April 12 in England but people must not be complacent about the risks still posed by coronavirus, Boris Johnson said.

Confirming the next step on the road map out of lockdown, the Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference he was looking forward to a pint of beer in a week's time.

He also encouraged people to use free NHS tests as part of the drive to identify cases without symptoms.

Setting out the move to the second step of the road map, Mr Johnson said the shift was "fully justified by the data".

Mr Daly said:“I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement that we will be proceeding as planned to step 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown on Monday.

"This is a significant step in the reopening of society, and I am sure it will be a great relief to many people across Bury, Ramsbottom and Tottington that businesses such as retail and outdoor hospitality will be opening.

"These past few months have been incredibly difficult for all parts of our communities and I would like to pay tribute to the massive efforts of everyone involved in the vaccine rollout here in Bury and to people across Bury, Ramsbottom and Tottington for continuing to stick to the rules as we move through these steps.

"We are not at the end just yet, but the light at the end of this dark tunnel is certainly getting brighter.”