Restaurant bookings across the UK have surged over the past week after the government eased lockdown restrictions.

The spike in restaurant bookings is an indication that economic life is returning to normal.

From 17 May, Covid-19 restrictions were relaxed by the UK Government, allowing restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales to serve customers indoors.

As per the new rules, a group of up to six people are allowed inside the restaurant, while groups seated outside can have up to 30 people.

Currently, 70% of the adult population in the country are reported to have received a Covid-19 vaccination.

According to booking website OpenTable, which produced the data for the UK’s Office for National Statistics, restaurant bookings for the first full week ending 24 May were 32% higher compared with the same period in 2019.

This marks a rise of 59 percentage points from the previous week, which only figured the first day with restaurants reopened for indoor dining.

The total spending on cards in the week ending 20 May, including both credit and debit, was 96% of its average for February 2020, representing a fractional decline from the week earlier, according to data from the Bank of England. This data is not adjusted for seasonal impacts.

Restaurant crowd capacity could further increase after 21 June, when the UK Government plans to lift most lockdown restrictions in England.

However, this move could be delayed as health experts warn of the spreading of the new variant of Covid-19 the was first identified in India.

Meanwhile, as the pandemic has increased the importance of food delivery, Spanish food delivery firm Glovo has agreed to acquire Delivery Hero’s businesses in Central and Eastern Europe for $207m (€170m) in a bid to leverage the increased scale of this segment.

The Barcelona-based food delivery firm, which had raised €450m earlier this year, will buy Delivery Hero businesses in Romania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia.

This divesture will allow Delivery Hero to streamline its operational footprint and invest in other important markets and verticals.

The deals are currently subject to approval from regulatory authorities.

Earlier in May, Glovo also acquired Slovenian food delivery firm Ehrana.