SEASIDE businesses have welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s annoucements easing restrictions on the tourism industry.

He said parts of the hospitality sector, including hotels, attractions and pubs, can reopen on July 4 - and the two-metre distancing rule in England will be relaxed to one-metre with some conditions.

Tourism is estimated to be worth £1million a day to the district and the sector has been hit hard by the restrictions imposed following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Billy Peak, owner of Clacton Pavilion, said the plans are a major boost for the town.


  • Clacton Pavilion was boarded up after lockdown started but will reopen on July 4.

He said: “The lockdown has been devastating for our business and the leisure industry, but it is good news that we can reopen.

“We will open what we can, including Armstrong’s restaurant, the terrace and outdoor fun park.

“This is a big boost for the coastal economy “If it didn’t happen in the next two weeks then this whole year would have been written off.

“We also have our water park and new children’s play area and we want to get them open as soon as we are allowed to.

“We are already prepared with signs, hand sanitizer, layout and in and out entrances.”

Clacton Pier said several major national attractions have already closed and they feared other businesses would follow unless restrictions were lifted quickly.


  • Ready - Clacton Pier is ready to reopen on July 4.

Director Billy Ball said: “We are very pleased to hear the announcement and that we can again open our doors to our customers.

“We are proactive about the measures we are taking to keep people safe and are working with the Government to make sure we can open as soon as possible.

“It’s reassuring that they took the thoughts and ideas of the industry on board that will allow us to open on July 4.

“We understand that soft play will be behind the curve and probably the bowling to some extent, but we would like to see that open sooner.

“But we are in a good position to start with and this will allow us to catch the peak season and we will continue to be mindful of social distancing - measures have already been put in place.”

Jason Smedley, owner of the Royal Hotel, also welcomed the news.

“It’s half and half for us as our salon - All That Jazz - can’t open yet, but we understand where they are coming from.

“We are continuing to make preparations to reopen the hotel and restaurant on July 4.

“By using an app people will be able to check in and order food without speaking to people and we will remain contactless with money and avoid menus, hopefully that can all be done online for people’s safety.

“We are taking every precaution.

“I have got a great passion for Clacton and next year we hope to have a food festival with music that will show off Clacton’s finest.”

Clacton MP Giles Watling said: : “The Prime Minister has announced that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to Covid Secure guidelines, from July 4.

“He has set out that two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures, and that people can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites.

“In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.”