Are hotels open in the UK? Date B&Bs, guest houses and holiday accommodation can open as government eases lockdown rules

Entertainment, hospitality and indoor leisure venues were all shut down at the end of March, as part of the UK lockdown measures to stop the spread of coronavirus

Monday, 6th July 2020, 12:34 pm

Various restrictions across England were lifted on Saturday 4 July, with restaurants, pubs and hairdressers being allowed to open their doors to the public once again.

Hotels and other guest accommodation were also able to reopen their doors to customers as well.

Here is everything you need to know.

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This is when hotels might begin reopening across the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

Are hotels allowed to reopen under new lockdown rules?

From 4 July, all hotels were able to reopen their doors to customers, so long as they put in place measures that allow for safe social distancing between two individuals from separate households.

The social distancing rules have now been reduced from a 2 metre distance between two individuals from separate households, to one metre and over.

Businesses such as hotels and the like will have to be able to meet “Covid-19 secure guidelines” and if they cannot, may not be permitted to reopen.

What new safety rules are in place?

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport issued guidance for hotels and other guest accommodation for working safely during coronavirus, which was updated on 3 July.

The guidance states that for hotels and other guest accommodation providing the safety of their workers and customers, they would have to work through these steps:

- In every workplace, increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning

- Keeping activity time of any activity where social distancing is not possible to be as short as possible

- Using fixed screens or barriers to separate people from each other

- Encouraging guests to wear masks on communal corridors

- Ensuring that any bar or dining area is only open in a way that is compliant with UK government guidance

What holiday accommodations were already open during lockdown?

Back in May, the UK Government announced its phased plan for lifting lockdown.

In a 50-page dossier, outlining details of the plan, it listed the businesses and ventures which were to remain closed.

These include holiday accommodation, specifically hotels, hostels, B&Bs, holiday rentals, campsites and boarding houses.

There were some exceptions to the rule, however. In some instances, the previously listed holiday accommodation could remain open, such as:

- In the situation where people live in these places as interim residences whilst their primary home is unavailable, or they live in them permanently

- Non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence can continue to stay in hotels or similar as required

- Hotels and other accommodation listed can also be provided to any person unable to return to their main residence

- They can also provide services to any critical workers in the effort to deal with coronavirus, if the stay is needed for their work

- Hotels, hostels and B&Bs providing rooms to support the homeless and vulnerable (such as those who cannot stay safety in their home) can remain open

- Hotels and other accommodation listed are allowed to host blood donation sessions

Can I get a hotel refund if I had a reservation?

Many Brits have seen their travel plans disrupted by the spread of coronavirus - including staycations and holidays in the UK.

If you had reservations with a hotel in the UK that will no longer be open on your date of travel, you should be able to get a refund, or at the very least, be able to reschedule.

Holiday Inn have implemented a new policy in light of the coronavirus, which allows existing bookings made before 6 April 2020 at all their hotels to be changed or cancelled free of charge for stays up to 30 June 2020.

And if you had a booking with Premier Inn for a hotel stay before 4 July, you can cancel your booking on their website for free. This doesn’t apply to key workers who are still being catered for.

Hilton Hotels have also made it possible for travellers who had booked with them for arrival on or before June 30 to change or cancel at no charge - even those trips described as “non-cancellable”.

With easyHotel, those who had booked to stay before 30 June can rebook or get a refund for free.