Coronavirus: NI hotels to reopen on 20 July

Hotels and tourist accommodation in Northern Ireland will be allowed to reopen on 20 July.

The Northern Ireland Executive has confirmed the move as part of the relaxation of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

It has been welcomed by the Northern Ireland Hotel Federation (NIHF) as a “step forward for the industry”.

In May, the government in the Republic of Ireland confirmed its hotels will also reopen on 20 July.

Announcing the decision on Monday afternoon, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said she believed it was the right time to provide the tourist accommodation sector with clarity about opening dates following “unprecedented challenges for our tourism industry”.

“I want to build upon the positive progress in managing the spread of the virus and begin to re-open our tourism industry in a safe and managed way,” she said.

Tourist accommodation re-opening:

  • Hotels
  • Holiday parks
  • Caravan sites and self-catering properties
  • Guesthouses and accommodation
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation
  • Hostels

Holiday parks, self-catering properties and caravan parks may open earlier than 20 July, said the minister, depending on scientific advice.

The minister stressed, however, that progress on re-opening will depend on controlling the rate of transmission of the virus.

NIHF chief executive Janice Gault said the federation has been working closely with industry colleagues to ensure that businesses can open in a safe and secure manner.

She said more work was needed around the details of reopening and said safety was paramount.

“We will continue to work in a collaborative manner so that the visitor economy, including the hotel sector, can return to business and help restore the Northern Ireland economy,” she said.

“Having an agreed date will help us to plan, promote and give businesses the opportunity to assess their viability.”

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