Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford has hinted at what will be open in April in Wales, plus the potential return of holidays.
Holidaymakers could be able to visit Wales for Easter but they’ll find the restaurants, pubs and cafes to be closed.
The Welsh government is publishing a roadmap to reopening schools and the economy this week as Covid cases fall.
As Easter approaches – a crucial period for the hospitality and tourism sector – Drakeford is pressed on what parts of the economy will be opening.
He said a similar policy to last summer could happen first, including self-contained holiday accommodations such as cottages, lodges and some hotel rooms opening.
He added that he did not expect hospitality to be part of the initial reopening of the economy.
Mr Drakeford told BBC Politics Wales: “I can’t imagine we will be opening hospitality in that way but I do want to recognise how important it is.”
When asked if outdoor hospitality could be allowed, he added: “What I think we are looking at for Easter, and I want to recognise how important Easter is for the tourism industry, are the sort of first steps that we offered last year where we were able to reopen self contained accommodation first for people and then demonstrate the success of that and move on.
“That was a welcome move last year.
“If things continue to improve and we are in that position closer to April then I hope we will be able to offer that but we will have to assess that in the conditions at the time.”
UK Hospitality has expressed concern for the industry explaining for every week the sector remains closed, more companies are being put into jeopardy and millions of jobs risk being lost.
The trade association’s chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “That is why we urge the prime minister to work with us on delivering a safe, swift and sustainable exit from lockdown for hospitality.”
Haven is reopening its caravan parks following latest lockdown announcement
Everything you need to know
Following the prime minister’s announcement on Monday, Haven has announced it will be opening its caravan parks from April 12th.
It’s great news for one household families who are looking for a getaway – Haven will be open in England from April 12th.
Two households will be able to stay together from May 17th.
Haven said in a statement: “Following the Government announcement earlier this week with regards to the roadmap out of lockdown measures, we can confirm that our parks will remain closed in England until Monday 12 April.
“We are however, delighted that the roadmap has considered self-contained accommodation to reopen at Stage two and we look forward to welcoming many families to enjoy a coastal break that we pride ourselves on from the 12 April across our parks in England.”
It comes just in time for the Easter half term which ends on April 16th, with holidays in Yorkshire starting from £69.
Haven added: “We would like to thank our guests for their patience and continued understanding whilst we work through this as quickly as we can.”
Currently, this only applies to those in England and guests should expect some restrictions in place in accordance with the lockdown rules.
Indoor entertainment is also unlikely to return but outdoor activities are expected to take place.
It comes after Travelodge also announced a sale on rooms with prices starting as little as £25.
Travelodge launches huge sale with more than 1 million rooms for £25 or less across England
Make sure you don’t miss these super low prices
Travelodge launches sale with breaks available for £25 or less a night in hotels across England.
Following on from Boris Johnson’s announcement at the beginning of this week, Travelodge has confirmed they are now taking bookings from May 17th and have even slashed their prices.
Staycations are likely to stay popular for quite some time with rooms available from just £25 a night – it’s the perfect way to explore the UK this year.
Hotels across the country are included in the deal, from coastal locations like Cornwall and Devon to countryside destinations such as the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales.
Those looking for a city break can grab a bargain night in the likes of London, Liverpool, York and Cambridge.
Family rooms are also included in the sale meaning a stay can cost just £6.25 per person for a night, or those looking for a romantic getaway can grab a room for £12.50 each.
From May 17th, hotels can reopen and holiday homes can be let to groups of up to six people from different households or groups from two households. Holidays in self-contained accommodation can go ahead from April 12th at the earliest.
Martin Lewis issues new holiday warning as airlines give travel updates
The Money Saving Expert has issued an urgent warning
Martin Lewis has issued a warning to anybody planning on booking a summer holiday.
It comes after transport secretary Grant Shapps and Boris Johnson warned last week it is ‘too soon’ to start booking holidays domestically or internationally.
Appearing on his ITV show, the Martin Lewis Money Show, the finance expert dished out some important advice for those looking to book a holiday.
Speaking on the show, Martin said: “So it is up to you whether you book or not but we do not know what the future situation is going to be.
“I can’t tell you whether you will be able to get a refund on that holiday or not. Insurance certainly won’t cover it.
“It depends on the travel firm or company’s policy. Only book now if you could afford to lose the money.
“I would only book now if you have some travel guarantee that you will get the money back.
“But we will know at the time, it only crystalises if at that time you cannot get on holiday, then the process will come into play.
“But we do not know currently – was it May she was going away in, Angellica? – yes, May. We do not know if we will be able to go on holiday or blocked from travel.”
The Liverpool ECHO has reported the following latest updates from TUI, EasyJet, Ryanair and Jet2…
The company is planning to operate as many flights as possible at the moment. If your trip is cancelled you will be notified directly and informed of your options.
They said: “Due to a number of governments imposing travel entry bans on flights arriving from certain countries, or imposing travel restrictions on passengers who are non-residents or non-citizens of the respective countries, we appreciate the uncertainty this may be causing you and understand that you may wish to change your travel plans.”
Bosses are hopeful that holidaymakers will return for the summer season with plans to operate at 80% capacity this summer.
The travel agent confirmed they have 2.8 million bookings for later in the year. Adding that there will be ‘significant upside anticipated’ should restrictions lift by Easter.
The £0 flight change fee for all customers has been extended to March 31st 2021 plus two booking date moves until October 31st 2021.
A Ryanair’s Spokesperson said: “If your plans change, so can your booking. To provide as much flexibility and confidence as possible for Ryanair customers, we have extended our zero euro flight change fee for all bookings made in January, February and March.
“Mindful that Covid restrictions change regularly, Ryanair is now allowing up to two free flight date changes on all such bookings up until October 31 2021.
“Customers can now book flights to see family & friends this Easter or book a well-deserved Summer 2021 break with confidence knowing that if they need to postpone or change their travel dates, they can do so with a € zero change fee until the end of October 2021.”
The holiday giant has suspended all flights until mid-April at the earliest following travel restrictions by the government.
Anyone with bookings before April 14th will automatically have their booking cancelled with a full refund issued.
Jet2 said in a statement today: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and government travel restrictions, we’ve taken the decision to extend the suspension of all flights up to and including April 14, 2021.
“Please note, our flights to Iceland are suspended up to and including April 26, 2021.”