Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen has welcomed the announcement by Economy Minister Diane Dodds on bringing forward the conditional date for the re-opening of key parts of the tourism and hospitality industry.
Commenting on the announcement Mr McGrillen said; “Covid-19 has had a profound effect across Northern Ireland and its economic impact has been most acutely felt by the tourism and hospitality sectors”.
“As part of the Tourism Recovery Steering Group the minister has engaged closely with Tourism NI and a broad range of stakeholders across the tourism and hospitality sectors and we have worked together to identify measures to protect the sector.”
“I am delighted that the NI Executive has today supported the Minister’s plan to bring forward dates for reopening which will allow the sector an opportunity to regain some lost business during our peak season and provide a basis for recovery and a return to growth in the future.”
“Together with representative bodies for the sector, Tourism NI will be publishing reopening guidance in the coming week and will be launching a recovery marketing campaign from the end of June that will focus on key segments in the domestic and Republic of Ireland market”.
The key dates agreed by the Executive are
- Caravan parks, camping sites and self-catering tourist accommodation can re-open on 26 June;
- Other tourist accommodation can re-open from 3 July;
- Additional sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry can re-open from 3 July – this includes restaurants, cafes and coffee shops;
- Public houses and bars will also be permitted to re-open from 3 July for the purposes of selling food and alcohol on a table service basis. Public houses and bars with outside spaces, such as beer gardens, will be able to use these spaces to serve alcohol on a table service basis;
- These relaxations also apply to hotel restaurants, bars and outdoor areas. However, spas and leisure facilities at hotels will not be permitted to open at this stage.
- Visitor attractions can also open from 3 July.
The dates are conditional on controlling the rate of transmission of Covid-19 and social distancing measures will remain in place.