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Northern Ireland’s colourful countryside, breathtaking beaches and glorious gardens are ready to welcome visitors this summer.
Many locations are reopening, but have restricted visitor numbers and pre-booked time slots, so we recommend looking at the official websites for attractions and organisations before you travel, so that you’re in the know before you go.
The national tourist organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England have launched a UK-wide industry standard and ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark. The mark means businesses can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective government and public health guidance, ensuring they can welcome visitors back with confidence.
Summer is here and Northern Ireland is beginning to reopen, providing everyone with the opportunity to start dreaming about a holiday. And this year a staycation could give you some much needed rest and recuperation, while also helping get the holiday industry back up and running.
Hotels, campsites, bed and breakfast accommodation and other places to stay are now opening if they can follow the guidelines relevant to their locality to ensure that their guests will be safe to stay and spend days wandering our award-winning coastlines, exploring our green spaces and getting inspired in our cities.
Each accommodation provider is unique and those that have reopened have had to adapt depending on the nature of their business, including the size and type of accommodation.
But these changes mean it is safe for visitors to come and enjoy a change of scenery. But even when we are away from home, we still need to follow the guidelines.
When out and about, we need to remember to look after ourselves, one another and the environment around us. To make sure we’re all doing our bit to travel responsibly, just follow a few simple steps.
When planning your trip, check that important facilities like toilets and car parks are open before you travel.
If you have an attraction in mind, check online to see if you need to pre-book.
Some places may be extremely popular, so get off the beaten track and discover a hidden gem.
Stay socially distanced apart from anyone outside your household while walking, running, cycling, sitting and sunbathing. Wear your face covering at all times when on public transport.
Make sure you have a bank card; many outlets are currently only accepting cashless payments. Take hand sanitiser with you. Leave the car behind where possible and visit nearby attractions by walking, cycling or public transport.
Relax in five-star luxury
Social distancing measures aren’t the only change visitors are experiencing at Belfast’s five-star Merchant Hotel.
The hotel has used lockdown time to complete its £750,000 investment in the Great Room Restaurant and Cocktail Bar.
The management team is confident that customers will benefit from, but not be inconvenienced by, the Covid-19 compliant changes it has also made.
The Great Room has been reimagined to create a standalone restaurant and the Cocktail Bar has also benefited from significant refurbishment. Other venues within the Beannchor Group portfolio have also opened their doors.
Beannchor Group managing director Bill Wolsey said: “We’re aware that customers and guests may be curious about the experience that awaits them and, while there are measures in place that follow the scientific guidelines and industry best practice to ensure the safety of our staff and customers at all times, we have striven to minimise the impact to the overall experience at all our venues.”
For more information on staying safe, please go to discovernorthernireland.com