The Northern Ireland Executive has confirmed that hotels and tourist accommodation across the Province will be allowed to reopen on July 20.
Announcing the decision this afternoon (Monday June 1), Economy Minister Diane Dodds said she believed it was the right time to provide the tourist accommodation sector with clarity.
She said: “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.”
Tourist accommodation allowed to re-open includes:
- Holiday parks
- Caravan sites and self-catering properties
- Guesthouses and accommodation
- Bed and breakfast accommodation
Holiday parks, self-catering properties and caravan parks may even be allowed to open earlier than July 20 depending on scientific advice, said the minister.
The move, part of the relaxation of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, has been welcomed by the Northern Ireland Hotel Federation (NIHF) as a “step forward for the industry”.
NIHF Chief Executive Janice Gault said: “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.
“Having an agreed date will help us to plan, promote and give businesses the opportunity to assess their viability.”
The government in the Republic of Ireland confirmed that hotels there will also reopen on July 20.