Hotels in Wales are starting the first phase of reopening, with room-service only and outdoor dining permitted from today.
Speaking to Boutique Hotelier Editor Zoe Monk last week, Paula Ellis, group general manager at Retreats Group and Andrew Evans, GM at St Brides Hotel were both planning to launch in a restricted capacity today.
From Saturday July 11, First Minister Mark Drakeford allowed self-contained holiday accommodation to reopen, with pubs, restaurants and cafes outdoors able to start trading again from today as part of the phased recovery plan for the hospitality and tourism sector.
Hairdressing salons, outdoor cinemas and some indoor attractions are also reopening today.
From July 20, playgrounds, community centres and outdoor gyms will be able to reopen gradually.
On Friday, Drakeford also announced that following the latest 21-day review of the coronavirus regulations, indoors venues will be able to reopen from August 3.
The two-metre rule remains, however for businesses where social distancing is crucial to revenues, venues will be permitted to operate at less than two metres with mitigations.
Regulations will require businesses to put in place a set of additional measures to minimise the risk of the virus spreading, including taking reasonable steps to minimise close face-to-face contact and maintain hygiene.
Commenting on the announcement, UKHospitality executive director for Wales, David Chapman said: “This is a vital move and one that the industry has been desperate to hear. The August period accounts for a substantial portion of annual revenue and the immediate sustainability of many of our businesses will depend on this reopening being successful.
“That being the case, we are asking Welsh Government to consider, if the health climate allows, reopening three days earlier on Friday 31st to enable a full August of bookings for the sector and have offered to work with Ministers to develop final indoor opening guidelines to ensure a safe enabling of the delivery of either opening date.”
The Welsh Government is also discussing with local authorities and other operators how gyms, leisure centres, fitness studios and swimming pools can introduce measures to safely open. Further work is being undertaken about the risk of coronavirus in swimming pools.