RENFREWSHIRE residents will be raising their glasses next week as beer gardens reopen after months of lockdown.

Among those who will be welcoming back customers are staff at the Houston Inn, which will be providing drinks and meals again from Monday.

Andrea Gibson, manager of the pub, in North Street, said it will be a big relief to reopen the beer garden.

She told The Gazette: “We’re looking forward to seeing all our regulars again and actually seeing faces, instead of hearing voices on the phone.

“I think it’s the right time to reopen the beer garden. I’d rather we gradually ease lockdown restrictions, so we can actually stay open this time, rather than having to close again.

“The hardest part of the pandemic has been not being able to open for our customers. It’s lonely and very difficult having to isolate with no human contact, it goes against human nature.”

It has been a tough time for pubs and restaurants across Renfrewshire, which have had to remain closed for much of the past year in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus.

From Monday, they can reopen until 8pm indoors and 10pm outdoors, although alcohol can only be served outside.

Groups of six people from six households will be allowed to meet in outdoor hospitality.

However, it will be May 17 before pubs and restaurants are able to sell booze indoors again. This will be allowed until 10.30pm, in two-hour time slots.

“The lockdown has been horrendous, not just for us but also for the people who come here,” said Andrea.

“This is a community pub and a place where many of our customers see their friends on a daily basis, so it’s a lifeline for a lot of them.

“We seem to be okay financially at the moment because we’ve been running takeaways throughout lockdown to maintain a presence and get some form of income in.

“I really hope this is the last lockdown, as I don’t think a lot of businesses will be able to cope with another one.”

The likes of non-essential shops and gyms are also due to reopen on a restricted basis from Monday.

From May 17, cinemas will reopen, with contact sports and some small-scale events also able to take place.

Up to four people from two households will be able to meet indoors from that date.

READ MORE: Bars and restaurants set to reopen on Monday — here are the rules