No holidays until middle of summer – with British hotels opening on July 4 at the earliest

HOLIDAYS in the UK may not happen until the middle of summer, with new government guidelines warning hotels will not open until July 4 at the earliest.

The predictions may also be pushed back depending on the spread of the virus across Britain.

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Campsites, holiday parks and hotels have closed across the country, with 80 per cent of the hospitality industry currently furloughed.

The new guidelines state: "The Government's current planning assumption is that this step will be no earlier than 4 July, subject to five tests and further detailed scientific advice, provided closer to the time, on how far we can go. 

"The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas)."

The five tests include a reduced pressure on the NHS, a falling number of coronavirus cases, the rate of infection decreasing, a consistent amount of PPE equipment and no risk of a second infection period.

However, for hotels and holiday homes to open, they will have to meet "COVID-19 Secure guidelines" as well.

Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to ensure social distancing may still not be able to re-open at this point, or may only be able to open in part.

This means smaller venues and busy attractions are likely to remain closed, or only partially open.

Acting CEO of Visit Britain Patricia Yates previously told Sun Online Travel that cheaper hotels may be able to cope better than high-end resorts.

She said: "One of the bigger hotel groups that we have been speaking to think they could open up their budget chain of hotels fairly quickly as their is limited interaction between staff and guests.

"But with their top-end hotels it would be far more difficult as they would have to get rid of shared spaces – so no restaurants and no food and beverage.

"The question is going to be, can you operate with social distancing, can you run business as a profit and if you can’t would you open anyway?"

Kurt Janson, Director at Tourism Alliance, told Sun Online Travel that even with the opening in July, it will be "difficult to salvage" the summer season.

He explained: "Even if we can open up then, it takes time to build into that. 

"In the city, they may not be able to open pubs and restaurants for some time due to social distancing rules, but if you're operating a country pub with a large beer garden, there may be ways to open them, such as a hatch open to a garden bar."

He also said cities and busy towns may then struggle to encourage tourists to visit if they are only partially open: "Why would you come to London if nothing is open and you can't eat at a restaurant?"

Brits may not even be choosing to go on holiday this summer, either due to the health risk or lack of holiday allowance.

He added: "We have about three months to salvage the 2020 season which will be difficult and will depend of the appetite on the public, which we're not so sure about."

"For people who return to work, their businesses may not let them get annual leave.

"For people such as the over 55s and those who are retired, they are the most vulnerable so will may be too cautious to travel and wait until next year.

"There are a lot of unknowns about what's going to happen next."

We've rounded up some of the most beautiful caravan sites across the UK for when the country opens up to tourism again.

These are currently closed, but under the guidelines may be able to open by July.

Holidays abroad are to be off the cards, with Brits returning to the country facing 14-day quarantines under new guidelines.

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