UK: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly set to announce this week that hospitality venues, such as bed and breakfasts and hotels, will be able to reopen their doors in England as expected on 4 July, along with pubs, restaurants and hairdressers.
Although a final decision has not been made, it is understood officials are preparing to announce hotels and bed and breakfasts will open alongside pubs, restaurants, and hairdressers at the beginning of next month, according to a report in The Mail on Sunday. Campsites are likely to have to wait longer due to fears shared facilities could allow coronavirus to spread.
According to the paper, the tourism industry will be issued with new guidance on how to welcome guests back safely by the end of next week.
It comes amid widespread expectation that Mr Johnson will announce that the two-metre rule will be cut to one next week, after the UK’s coronavirus alert level was reduced for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
MPs and tourism industry leaders have been calling for clarity over when bookings can be accepted again, and how the hospitality sector will operate post-lockdown.
Former environment minister Owen Paterson said: “To have any hope of saving this summer season for our tourist industry, the Government must announce this week what the arrangements will be for reopening on July 4. Ministers can’t leave our holiday parks, hotels and pubs in the dark any longer.”
Patricia Yates, chief executive of Visit Britain, said: “We need to know what the plan is. The lack of Government guidelines and that uncertainty around the date is causing a great deal of consternation within the industry.”
Visit Britain estimates that the UK tourism sector, which employs three million jobs, will be hit with losses of up to £42 billion this year because of coronavirus.
The Welsh hospitality sector is set to reopen on 13 July, while Scotland’s tourism industry is scheduled for reopening on 15 July, pending official government confirmation.