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Hotels to reopen in Northern Ireland from 20 July

02 June 2020


Reuters :
The George Best Hotel in Belfast went into administration in April without ever opening, following the coronavirus outbreakImage caption: The George Best Hotel in Belfast went into administration in April without ever opening, following the coronavirus outbreak
Stormont's Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, has announced hotels, B&Bs, caravan parks and other tourist accommodation can reopen in Northern Ireland from 20 July, provided the rate of infection remains under control.
Dodds said the tourism industry had faced an "unprecedented challenge" in the face of Covid-19 and she wanted to give the sector "some clarity".
All businesses wishing to reopen must have social distancing arrangements in place.
"I want to build upon the positive progress in managing the spread of the virus and begin to reopen our tourism industry in a safe and managed way," said Dodds.
Holiday and home parks, caravan sites and self-catering properties may reopen at an earlier date "depending on scientific advice", she added.
Janice Gault, of Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, welcomed the "step forward" but said there was "more work to be done" on the detail, adding that the safety of guests and staff remained "paramount".
"Having an agreed date will help us to plan, promote and give businesses the opportunity to assess their viability," she said.


How the virus has affected sporting events
James Sullivan riding Zodiakos (in orange) wins The Welcome Back British Racing Handicap at Newcastle Racecourse
Getty ImagesCopyright: Getty Images

Snooker is one of the first sports to return in the UK, with the Championship League starting today in Milton Keynes.

But horse racing and greyhound racing is also taking place behind closed doors on Monday as things slowly return to normal.

Zodiakos, trained by Roger Fell and ridden by Jimmy Sullivan, created a little bit of history as the first winner on UK horse racing's resumption after a 76-day break due to the pandemic.

Prior to the meeting in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, greyhound racing resumed in Birmingham with Im Sophie winning the opening race at Perry Barr.



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