Holidays In Wales Can Start From Next Month As Border Reopens To Tourists
The news will be welcomed by many tourism officials and hoteliers who have gone three months without trade.
Until now, the official Government advice has been to "stay local" and avoid unnecessary travel, but if science points to the 'R' rate remaining controlled, travel across the border will resume, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today.
The change will mean that holidaymakers from England can stay in "self-contained" tourist accommodation, which includes second homes, holiday cottages, static caravans and some hotels.
All of which opens up the opportunity to take advantage of Wales' many beauty spots, like its rugged Breacon Beacons, mountainous national parks and sweeping beaches.
It's worth noting that the change won't be immediate. Following the reopening of borders, tourist accommodation would be able to take bookings from 13th July.
Speaking about plans to open up Welsh tourism on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Drakeford said: "On Monday 6th July, provided the virus is still under control, we will lift our 'stay local' instruction here in Wales and at that point the tourism economy will reopen in Wales.
"I've got to caveat it by saying we've got to be sure the virus is still under control at that point.
"Provided it is, the stay local restrictions will be abolished [on July 6th] and people inside Wales and from outside Wales will be able to travel."
He went on to explain that the time window between now and 6th July would be used by tourism officials to prepare for reopening safely.
"I'll be saying today to our tourism sector that they should use the next three weeks to prepare so that beyond that, self-contained accommodation will be able to reopen in Wales.
"People will be able to travel to holiday cottages or static caravans or hotels that are organised on a self-contained basis.
"And people will be able to take bookings in Wales on July 13th onwards."
The news comes as Wales allows all non-essential shops to reopen from Monday.
Meanwhile, England appears to be preparing to scrap its bans on overnight stays from the 4th July, when its hospitality sector will begin to reopen.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government were "looking at it"."It's an important consideration, not least because I want people to be able also to have a holiday if at all possible this summer," he said.
"That is something we're looking at and we'll work on it and I'll make sure you know about the outcome of that just as soon as we possibly can."
In May, Patricia Yates, head of Visit Britain, told MPs that in order for local tourism to recover from the huge economic hit of coronavirus, 2020 would need to be the year of "domestic travel".
After months of the Welsh border being effectively closed to English, we now have a chance to support holiday business owners.
Anyone else very ready for a lush country getaway in the Welsh valleys?
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