Brits may be able to visit hotels and holiday parks as early as July 4th as ministers make efforts to start the holiday season.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make big announcements to lockdown easing on Tuesday, June 23rd, which might include the possibility of ‘staycation’ trips.
The domestic travel industry which creates, on average, £130bn a year had to close like many other industries due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government has yet to announce an official reopening date for the industry.
However, Whitehall officials have been told to prepare for the announcement tomorrow, according to The Mail on Sunday.
Former Environment Minister Owen Paterson told the Mail on Sunday: “To have any hope of saving this summer season for our tourist industry, the Government must announce this week what the arrangements will be for reopening on July 4.
Mr Paterson added: “The Government must say this week that there will be a reduction in the social distancing guidance to one metre. Everything depends on that.
“People are not going to go to restaurants, pubs and holiday parks in our beautiful tourist areas unless we cut the rule to one metre. If we don’t, large numbers of hospitality businesses just will not survive. The Government must also say that the quarantine arrangements will end on July 4, too.”
Boris Johnson is said to be on the brink of easing the two-metre social distancing rule, telling the nation to ‘watch this space’ regarding an announcement.
Many bosses in the hospitality industry have called for the government to confirm when the tourism industry can return to trading.
Cornwall Council said it would lose £630m by the end of June due to the lack of tourism in just that area.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the trade body UKHospitality, added: “We need confirmation of the reopening date for hospitality businesses without any further delay.
“Businesses need time to prepare and the first step in giving them some much-needed clarity is confirmation of when they can open their doors again.
“This is particularly important for hotels and tourism, where 60% of bookings are made more than two weeks in advance.”
The news also comes as the government is drawing up plans to form air bridges with Spain, Greece, Portugal, France and Australia which will see the 14-day quarantine rules scrapped in each country for visitors.
The government has said no final decision has been made as of yet but many people are expecting updates on domestic tourism tomorrow.
Harry Potter fans can now stay in a Gryffindor common room-inspired cottage
This looks magical!
Potterheads will be pleased to hear about a Gryffindor common room-inspired cottage that you can now stay in.
Live out your wildest wizarding dreams at this new UK cottage inspired by the Gryffindor Common Room.
Guests will stay in four-poster beds in a room decked out in the red and gold Gryffindor colours. Each bed also comes with curtains for that little sprinkling of privacy.
The dorm room, tucked away in The North Shire in Liverton, also has a cosy living room and a fireplace so you can easily get in touch with Sirius.
The large plush red sofas are perfect for sinking into, Harry Potter book in hand and the fire crackling in the background.
There’s also huge stain glass windows specially commissioned to depict the blonde mermaid that mesmerises Harry in the Goblet of Fire in the bathroom. plus you’ll also find large gold shell-shaped sinks to really bring home the mermaid theme from the scene.
The cottage can comfortably sleep six people in the single beds and there’s also a kitchen for you to whip up Cornish Pasties and snack on Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.
You won’t even need a Bellatrix-sized vault at Gringotts to stay here with prices starting at just £50pp per night.
North Shire is also home to the Grounds Keepers Cottage so you can stay in a Hagrid inspired cottage.
Complete with cosy beds and living rooms, a huge (not quite big enough for Hagrid) copper bath plus loads of other magical features.
New geothermal heated sea pool like Iceland’s Blue Lagoon has opened in Cornwall
Perfect for a staycation!
The UK’s first geothermal sea pool has now opened up in Cornwall and we need to go asap!
The pool is set at a lovely warm 35C and will be heated all year round making it a perfect destination for a weekend away in winter.
The pool has opened up in the old art deco Jubilee Pool in Penzance, and is giving Iceland’s Blue Lagoons a run for their money.
The warm water is heated through a geothermal well which transfers the cooler water back into the ground and the warm water into the pool.
The pool also offers fantastic sea views, including a glimpse of St Michael’s Mount across the water.
Around 50 people will fit into the pool at once, making it the UK’s largest lido. Currently, due to social distancing measures, only 15 are allowed to visit at a time.
Ryan Law, managing director of Geothermal Engineering Limited, told local media: “The system we have drilled and installed is one of the lowest forms of carbon heating available and is part of the growing movement to use sustainable heating sources across the UK.
“I’m delighted that the geothermal pool at Jubilee Pool, Penzance, is now open. It’s the first geothermally-heated lido in the UK and is a flagship for geothermal energy in general.”
The pool is part of a wider project worth £1.8m, which was supported partly by the local community which provided £540,000.
First to swim in the pool were the family of local swimmer and project supporter, Joyce Cooper. Joyce was at the opening of the original lido 85 years ago but sadly died before she got the chance to see the project completed.
All ages are welcome to visit the pool during the afternoon, with kids under four going free. An adult ticket will start from £11.75.
There are also dedicated adults-only spots for the pool between 10am and 12:30pm, and select evenings after 5:30pm.
Thomas Cook is set to relaunch ‘in the next few weeks’ but with some big changes
The UK’s oldest tour operator could be back soon…
Thomas Cook, the UK’s oldest tour operator, could be making a return to the travel industry a year after the company folded.
The owners of Club Med and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chinese conglomerate Fosun, saved the brand from completely vanishing after it went under in September last year.
According to some reports it looks like Fosun could be bringing back Thomas Cook as a travel agent.
Sky News has reported that Fosun is awaiting necessary regulatory approvals and for any quarantine updates on British citizens.
Thomas Cook looks set to relaunch as just an online travel agent and will be dropping the Thomas Cook airline, high street shops and branded hotels previously operated by the company.
The relaunch is reportedly set to go ahead this month, exactly a year after the company collapsed.
The firm filed for administration on September 23rd last year. The news left 150,000 UK holidaymakers stuck abroad and caused the biggest peacetime repatriation of Britons abroad, totalling to an estimated cost of £150m.
The 178-year-old firm was bailed out by Fosun. Chairman Jiannong said: “The group has always believed in the brand value of Thomas Cook.
“The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand will enable the group to expand its tourism business building on the extensive brand awareness of Thomas Cook and the robust growth momentum of Chinese outbound tourism.”
He added: “Following the acquisition, the group will focus on business expansion, using the newly acquired Thomas Cook brands to create synergies with the existing businesses of the group.”
The Chinese firm bought the assets including the trademarks, domain names, software applications, social media accounts and licences. However, 555 stores were sold for just £6m to rival Hays Travel.