In Pictures: Tourism at home and abroad boosted as lockdown brakes are released

Buskers return to the streets of Brighton as live entertainment resumes (Ciaran McCrickard/PA)
Buskers return to the streets of Brighton as live entertainment resumes (Ciaran McCrickard/PA)
PA Wire

Foreign leisure travel resumed while some of the UK’s own tourist magnets reopened on a day marking another giant step on the road map back towards normality.

Airports saw a step up in activity with advice to stay in the UK relaxed as passengers embarked on flights for countries on the green list.

Travel hubs such as Gatwick Airport saw an increase in footfall as foreign leisure travel partially reopened as the shackles of lockdown were cast off by travellers.

At home, the London Eye was rotating again for those willing to take a spin while Blackpool’s sand art made it clear that the seaside resort was open for business as some of its indoor attractions welcomed customers back while buskers were back in Brighton.

Sunny Jouhal, general manager of the London Eye, stands on top of a London Eye Pod, 135 meters high above the ground to celebrate the re-opening of the attraction (Matt Alexander/PA)

A digital message, which reads \u201cLess URL, more IRL. Welcome back.\u201d is displayed on the BT Tower Infoband, 190 metres above the streets of London as BT marks the latest phase of the Government\u2019s Covid-19 lockdown measures easing (Anthony Upton/PA)

Passengers check in for the first holiday and leisure flight to take-off at Gatwick Airport, as easyJet relaunches flights from the UK to green-list destinations (David Parry/PA)

Passengers prepare to board an easyJet flight to Faro, Portugal (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Museums were reopening with the Great North Museum in Newcastle attracting early visitors while seaside resorts such as Blackpool were also taking advantage of the relaxation of rules.

Art galleries were popular destinations while Mayor of London Sadiq Khan signalled the reopening of indoor hospitality by making dumplings in the capital’s Chinatown.

Sand art on the beach as Blackpool's indoor attractions, hotels and guesthouses, show venues, and indoor hospitality reopen (Peter Byrne/PA)

Blackpool was further opening up (Peter Byrne/PA)

Visitors take in the view through the Glass Floor on the high-level walkway at Tower Bridge in London (Yui Mok/PA)

People inside Great North Museum in Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan making dumplings with head chef Lin Bing during a visit to Dumplings\u2019 Legend in China Town, London (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

People inside Laing Art gallery in Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

People look around sets at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London (Steve Parsons/PA)

Parts of the stage in St Martin\u2019s Theatre, central London, where Agatha Christie\u2019s The Mousetrap is staged as indoor entertainment resumes (Eleanor Cunningham/PA)

At midnight, revellers in England had been quick to embrace their newly-restored freedoms when some pubs opened their doors at midnight, as the latest easing of restrictions came into force.

Many people also took advantage of more relaxed rules on hugging.

Indoor hospitality was once again open for business with customers now allowed to drink in more comfortable all-weather indoor surroundings and avail themselves of jukeboxes and pool tables while as dawn broke cafes were ready to welcome visitors.

Customers inside The Borough pub on St Mary\u2019s Street, Cardiff (Ben Birchall/PA)

Customers at the Showtime Bar in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire take advantage of the early hours of restored freedoms (Danny Lawson/PA)

York Minster was a draw for visitors on the day lockdown eased (Danny Lawson/PA)

Karen McPherson (left) and Val Cavanagh at the Forest restaurant in York (Danny Lawson/PA)

After Christmas was all but cancelled, Prime Minister Boris Johnson had hoped for a better 2021 than the previous year – but it soon became apparent amid a startling rise in cases and deaths that firm action was needed to control the virus with the vaccines programme only in its infancy.

And 2021 had only just begun when another national lockdown was imposed as the country wrestled with an alarming spread of infection.

But as the vaccine rollout gathered pace, the leaders of the four UK nations all took steps to ease the stringent restrictions placed on the population during the health emergency.

Ministers are still urging caution ahead of the scheduled June 21 stage of the road map.

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