BRITS are rushing to book holidays as the government confirmed some lockdown rules will be lifted from next month.
Boris Johnson today revealed several changes to the UK's Covid-19 measures, including allowing hotels, holiday homes, caravan parks and B&Bs to reopen in England from July 4.
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Hotel chain Best Western says it saw a 450 per cent spike in bookings over the past 24 hours alone, even before the Prime Minister's announcement.
And today, the hotel chain says it's seeing more people book trips for the first time in three months.
Rural and coastal destinations have proved the biggest hit, according to the hotel chain, with the most five most searched places as follows; Scotland, Northumberland, Devon and Cornwall, Yorkshire, and Norfolk.
Meanwhile cities have seen a big drop in searches with the least popular destinations made up of London, Manchester, Birmingham,, Liverpool, and Chester.
One person tweeted: "So within minutes of Boris' announcement I've bough a massive tent and booked a camping holiday for the middle of July."
Another tweeted Best Western saying: "Given the announcement today about hotels reopening, are you reopening your hotel in Dover on July 4 as we want to stay a night?
"That's the Best Western Plus Dover Marina and Spa."
How Best Western hotels are changing to become Covid-safe
BEST Western hotels have made substantial changes to make sure they are safe when coronavirus is lifted.
A spokesperson said: "We have partnered with Quality in Tourism (QIT) to be independently audited as the safest hotels in Great Britain when we open on July 4.
"Our hotels are not marking their own anti-Covid processes, an outside body (QIT) is coming in and checking them. We felt that was important."
Changes being made include:
- Check-in and check out will be encouraged online to remove high traffic contact around reception
- Plexi-glass screens will be installed to provide extra reassurance for staff and guests
- Socially distanced signage will be visible in all public areas
- Infrared operated hand sanitisers will be provided throughout every hotel
- Public areas will be reconfigured to adhere to two metre rule
- Breakfast will be grab and go option delivered to rooms or from reception
- In house dining will be done via WhatsApp to the hotel team
- High touch items will be removed from rooms
- Rooms will be isolated and deep cleaned before and after use to the highest anti-Covid standards using electro-static sprays, fogging devices and blue light technology.
Holidays have been off the table since the UK went into lockdown exactly three months ago.
And the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is still advising against all but essential travel internationally.
But while Boris Johnson has confirmed that we will be able to staycation in England, it is still not yet clear what the rules in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales will be.
At the moment, the lockdown rules in Scotland are still stricter than they are in England, and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she hopes to reopen campsites by July 15.
Meanwhile, the Welsh Tourism Board is still asking people not to make unnecessary journeys.
At the moment, the rules say you still cannot travel more than five miles for leisure purposes in Wales.
But First Minister Mark Drakeford said the government will scrap its "stay local" rule on 6 July, which may means it opens up for potential holidays.
It is expected that hotels in Northern Ireland will be allowed to reopen on July 3.
But while English holidays are now back on the cards there will be some major changes.
At UK campsites, for example, there must be additional cleaning of shared facilities such as showers and toilets.
Some attractions at campsites and hotels will also have to remain closed, such as water parks, swimming pools and soft play areas.
In addition, guest houses, BnBs and holiday homes are likely to have extra cleaning, fewer guests, reduced menus and more dining al fresco.
Customers may also see the removal of mini-buffets, and the introduction of contactless check ins.
A Best Western spokesperson said: "The Brits are booking and it's great to be back in business!
"It looks like coastal and rural are topping the list for this summer as people shun city and shopping breaks in favour of traditional getaways with plenty of space to escape.
"We expect another huge surge this afternoon and this evening."
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