Economy Minister Diane Dodds welcomed the first stage of recovery of the hospitality industry as caravan parks re-opened their doors today.
The Executive had announced that caravan parks, camping sites and self-catering tourist accommodation could re-open from today (26 June) with hotels and other tourist accommodation able to re-open from 3 July along with restaurants, cafés and coffee shops. Pubs and bars can also open from 3 July for the provision of food, and also their beer gardens on a table service basis.
The Minister said: “Today is good news for our tourism and hospitality sector. The official re-opening of caravan parks, camping sites and self-catering tourist accommodation is the first step on the road to recovery for the industry. I also hope it marks the beginning of returning to normality where we can all begin to enjoy again the excellent products which our tourism and hospitality sector has to offer.
"I know the industry has been working hard towards this date, introducing new Covid-19 safety measures including hand sanitising stations, social distancing markers and Perspex screens in reception areas. The application of social distancing and hygiene practices are vital. We must ensure the transmission of the virus is minimised and we need to reassure customers, employees and visitors our tourism and hospitality establishments are as Covid-19 safe as possible."
Tourism businesses can avail of practical support in relation to re-opening from Tourism NI through the Tourism Enterprise Development Programme.
The Minister added: “I would encourage everyone to consider a staycation this year and enjoy the sights, scenes and tastes of Northern Ireland. We must all do what we can to support our local tourist industry if we want to ensure we are able to enjoy all it has to offer in the coming years.”