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Hotels, B&B's and Guesthouses will be able to re-open from 20 July. Caravan sites and self catering properties are also pencilled in for that date, although in their case the date may be brought forward if scientific advice gives the go-ahead.

Further work is underway to assess the potential to re-open pubs and restaurants and all other parts of the tourism sector but no dates have been mentioned at present.

Department for the Economy, Minister Diannne Dodds announced the dates earlier today and said “COVID-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge for our tourism industry, as it has for tourism markets around the world.

“I believe the time is right to provide the tourist accommodation sector with clarity about opening dates.

“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.”

Key Changes

20 July 2020 – holiday and home parks; caravan sites; self-catering properties. As they are self-contained and may require less advance notice before opening, the opening times for these types of accommodation may be advanced to earlier than 20 July depending on scientific advice;


20 July 2020 – guesthouses; guest accommodation; B&Bs; hotels; hostels. The Tourism Steering Group will be asked to work with the sector to explore what facilities and amenities can safely be made available by hotels and recommendations will be brought to the Executive in due course.


The Minister stressed that progress on re-opening will depend on controlling the rate of transmission of the virus 

The Minister added “Tourist accommodation will operate in a new, and challenging, world when it begins to emerge from COVID-19.

“We need to enable businesses to plan ahead to ensure social distancing and hygiene practices are in place and staff are trained. These practices will also be essential to reassure customers and employees that establishments are COVID-19 safe.

“Enabling accommodation businesses to generate essential revenue will help to protect individuals and livelihoods which support families and communities across Northern Ireland.”

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