WINCHESTER will be a bustling city once again this weekend when pubs and restaurants swing open their doors.

Residents across the nation will be able to enjoy a cold pint and a sit-down meal for the first time in months on July 4 – which is being dubbed 'Super Saturday'.

The King Alfred in Saxon Road is one of many popular locals that will be welcoming back its regular punters.

Manager Ali Longhurst said: "We are excited to say we will be re- opening The King Alfred this Saturday.

"We have been working hard to implement the recommended government guidelines to create a safe environment for our customers and staff.

"Our large beer garden is looking particularly beautiful and wait until you see the makeover on the outside of the pub. We are really looking forward to seeing everyone again."

The Bishop on the Bridge in Bridge Street will also be serving food and pouring pints – and are almost fully booked on Saturday.

"We are putting the safety and comfort of guests as our first priority, and that we really advise everyone to book online in advance of their arrival," said Jane Drinkwater, general manager.

The Black Boy landlord David Nicholson added: “I’m very excited to be reopening, but cautiously nervous at the same time. We just don’t know how sensible everyone will be.”

But its not just those close to the city centre who will be able to enjoy a trip to the watering hole.

Village pubs and restaurants across the district will be back up and running, including The Hinton Arms in Petersfield Road, Hinton Ampner.

Karen Ebsworth told the Chronicle: "We are pleased to announce that we will be reopening on Saturday. We will be adhering strictly to Government guidance to keep our customers and staff as safe as possible, but hopefully not taking away from a lovely visit to The Hinton Arms.

"We are very excited to welcome back our customers and friends."

The Government has issued a list of strict rules that must be followed when in a pub or restaurant.

You must have a drink to reserve a seat. This is because most pubs have reduced the number of tables and chairs to allow for social distancing.

While ordering at the bar is not banned, drinking at it is.

Contactless payments are encouraged to keep touching at a minimum.

Pubs will also have new measures to make sure people can stand at least a metre apart from each other. Staff may be wearing or standing behind visors and will be wearing gloves.

Many are expected to only offer table service or encourage customers to order via an app.

Visitors will also be asked to give their name to the pub landlord at the door.

This temporary record will now be kept by pubs for 21 days so those who visit can be contacted if there is a breakout of localised coronavirus.