At the end of March, entertainment, hospitality and indoor leisure venues were closed as part of lockdown procedures to control the spread of coronavirus.
But with restrictions now beginning to lift, when are hotels, B&Bs and other holiday accommodation likely to reopen? This is everything you need to know.
Are hotels allowed to reopen under new lockdown rules?
On 10 May, the UK Government announced its phased plan for lifting lockdown.
In a 50-page dossier, outlining details of the plan, it listed the businesses and ventures which must remain closed for the time being.
These include holiday accommodation, specifically hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday rentals, campsites and boarding houses.
There were some exceptions to the rule, however. In some instances, the previously listed holiday accommodation could remain open, such as:
- In the situation where people live in these places as interim residences whilst their primary home is unavailable, or they live in them permanently
- Non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence can continue to stay in hotels or similar as required
- Hotels and other accommodation listed can also be provided to any person unable to return to their main residence
- They can also provide services to any critical workers in the effort to deal with coronavirus, if the stay is needed for their work
- Hotels, hostels and B&Bs providing rooms to support the homeless and vulnerable (such as those who cannot stay safety in their home) can remain open
- Hotels and other accommodation listed are allowed to host blood donation sessions
When will hotels be allowed to reopen?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he hopes “to reopen at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places provided they’re safe and enforce social distancing” in phase three, which would be 4 July at the very earliest.
Johnson said that this would happen “if and only if the numbers support it”.
In the recovery strategy document, “hospitality” is defined by the government as food service providers, pubs and accommodation.
The document states: “Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to re-open safely at this point, or may be able to open safely in part.”
Businesses such as hotels and the like will have to be able to meet “Covid-19 secure guidelines” and if they cannot, may not be permitted to reopen.
Can I get a hotel refund if I had a reservation?
Many Brits have seen their travel plans disrupted by the spread of coronavirus - including staycations and holidays in the UK.
If you had reservations with a hotel in the UK that will no longer be open on your date of travel, you should be able to get a refund, or at the very least, be able to reschedule.
Holiday Inn have implemented a new policy in light of the coronavirus, which allows existing bookings made before 6 April 2020 at all their hotels to be changed or cancelled free of charge for stays up to 30 June 2020.
And if you had a booking with Premier Inn for a hotel stay before 4 July, you can cancel your booking on their website for free. This doesn’t apply to key workers who are still being catered for.
Hilton Hotels have also made it possible for travellers who had booked with them for arrival on or before June 30 to change or cancel at no charge - even those trips described as “non-cancellable”.
With easyHotel, those who had booked to stay before 30 June can rebook or get a refund for free.