Pubs welcomed back punters indoors yesterday as the country took another step on the lockdown roadmap.

All hospitality, including pubs, restaurants, and cafes, were allowed to welcome groups of up to six people back indoor again for food and drinks, with indoor entertainment and leisure venues, such as cinemas and museums also welcoming back customers.

Pubs were allowed to open for outdoor service only from April 12, which many sites across the borough took advantage of, however, many waited until now, when they could welcome customers inside again, before opening their doors.

A number of venues in Bolton town centre spoke of their relief of being able to open up their indoor areas to customers again, especially with the adverse weather Bolton has been experiencing over recent weeks.

One pub in the town centre to open its doors again for the first time in months was Ye Olde Man & Scythe, in Churchgate, which is one of the oldest pubs in the UK.

The pub teamed up with Carr's pasties and a Taste of Greece across the street to keep its doors open for customers when food had to be served along with a drink last time they could open.

Although they are not required to now, they will still be selling the popular Carrs Pasties.

One of the pubs managers, Sonya Couperthwaite, said: "It's like having our family back, the regulars came straight back, and even the people who might come once or twice a week have been so nice to see today.

"It's been really busy which is great. People seem to be less fussed about the rules now and are just really happy to be back.

"We've got acoustic music coming back this weekend which we're really looking forward to. People seem very happy to be back and it's been great talking to them, we can't wait for the pub to be fully back to normal again."

Punters were also glad to be back at Great Ale in the Vaults at Market Place.

Danielle Brown, owner of the Great Ale, said she is absolutely thrilled to be back in business, and is optimistic for the future.

She said: "To be here today is just amazing after the year we've had. I'm loving every minute of it."

Loyal customer Lilian Grundy said: "I've been shielding most of the last year and it's great to be back. I think it's so important to support local businesses in times like these as it's them who have struggled the most."

Lisa Day, who recently took over the Old Three Crowns pub in Churchgate, said: "We did a lot of work on the outside area which has been very busy which has been good but it's been great to finally have people back inside.

"It was like 60 minute makeover the last few days trying to get the inside ready again. It feels quite strange having everyone inside but it's really nice.

"Being able to talk to regulars properly again is great, it feels a proper pub again.

"We're really looking forward to the next stage because of this now. We've done so much work on the pub the last few weeks, it's such a nice building, it's so good to welcome people back in again."

The Spread Eagle, in Bromley Cross, might have had one of the youngest customers in Bolton today, as 13 week old Tommy Nutter joined his dad, Ash, general manager Lyndsey and Publicans Daniel Dunne and George Campbell.

They said it was a "very special day for us after all this time" of not being open indoors.