Domestic UK holidays could resume by early July

May 22, 2020

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Staycations in the U.K. are looking to be a possibility as soon as early July. The culture secretary announced this week that the government has plans to resume the tourism industry, though cautiously.

As reported by The Guardian, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced this week plans to reopen the industry for early July.

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“I would love to get the tourism sector up as quickly as we possibly can”, Dowden said. “We’ve set this very ambitious plan to try and get it up and running by the beginning of July.

“Clearly, we can only do it if it’s safe to do so because I think the worse thing for our tourism sector would be to start, then see the R rate rise out of control, see a second peak that overwhelms the NHS that we then have to slam on the brakes again”.

Related: Leave your passport at home: 7 UK destinations with an international feel

The reopening of the tourism industry in the U.K. comes amid news that the government is set to implement a mandatory 14-day isolation for arriving international passengers. Airlines have vocally opposed the measure, saying it would be devastating to the already-crippled aviation industry. However, Home Secretary Priti Patel is expected to outline the plans at Friday’s Downing Street briefing.

A mandatory 14-day isolation would inhibit international travellers from seeking a holiday to the U.K. But for U.K. holidaymakers returning home, it could be equally as detrimental. As a result, the domestic U.K. tourism sector may boom with travellers looking to stay within the country.

Related: Staycation: What are the finest hotels in the UK to book with points?

Low-cost carrier EasyJet announced on Thursday its plans to resume flights as of 15 June, however, it’s only planning to fly domestic routes at first.

On Tuesday, Patricia Yates, the acting chief of VisitBritain warned that the tourism sector is expected to lose £37 billion as a result of the coronavirus. That number could grow if the government follows through with the mandatory isolation period for international arrivals.

Related: Everything we know so far about the UK’s 14-day isolation period

Prior to Friday’s announcement, the government has backtracked on its restrictions several times over. Earlier this week, transport secretary Grant Shapps said there would be an “air bridge” to allow Brits to holiday in some destinations without having to isolate on their return. However, Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis said on Friday that there are “no plans for that at the moment”.

The FCO still advises against all non-essential international travel.

Featured photo by AndyRoland/Getty Images.

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