British stays could be possible from July 4, according to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
This will be good news for the British who are still hoping for a summer vacation this year, as overseas travel is likely to be impossible for many due to 14 days quarantine for anyone returning to the UK.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Dowden said he would “be at the forefront of the British tourism campaign” once the industry was ready to reopen.
He said the government’s goal is to have it happen in England by July 4, although concrete plans have yet to be announced.
“We hope to recover tourism as soon as possible,” he said.
“When he returns, we will invest a lot to make sure we have a big campaign to encourage the British to take British stays. “
Any changes should only apply in England, as restrictions in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be decided by their respective governments.
It is likely that not all parts of the tourism industry will open at the same time.
Dowden suggested rental units be among the first places to reopen as they pose a “lower risk” of spread coronavirus.
The tourism industry has welcomed the news that the British will be encouraged to take stays.
“Many of our businesses are ready to open after losing Easter and the two statutory holidays in May,” said Sally Evertone, director of Visit Devon.
“Once the government has given the green light, many would hope to open early in mid-July.”
But she said some companies would find it difficult to open at all under the current social distancing restrictions, forcing people to stay within 2 meters of each other.
“We hope that the government will consider reducing this distance to 1.5m, if not 1m, in accordance with some EU countries such as Germany and Holland,” she added.
“It would make the difference between 30% of companies able to open and 70% able to open. “
Visit Devon President Rhys Roberts said businesses now need to know what conditions they must meet to open.
“Companies have been asking for new work protocols for weeks,” he said.
“The availability of PPE is a major concern and they need time to reshape their business to meet the new conditions, information to date has been inconsistent and very slow, but we have made significant progress over the past week . “
The online booking site AirBnB has already been accepting bookings in the UK since July 4, after interrupting all bookings except for those of key workers during the epidemic.
Responding to Dowden’s comments, the company said: “The UK summer vacation is back on the horizon and hosts are getting ready to provide local, private, clean and safe accommodation away from the crowds. .
“Domestic travel represented almost 2 in 3 trips on Airbnb last year and hosts are ready to welcome their guests again, as soon as the government says it is safe. “