Cumbria Tourism has issued a response to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement yesterday, in which he revealed his roadmap out of lockdown.

In the four step plan, the Prime Minister hopes to leave all Coronavirus restrictions behind by Summer.

Reacting to the news, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh said: "Everyone’s priority remains the safety of our visitors and our communities, but we have been calling for a clear roadmap to allow businesses to plan ahead for reopening and it’s helpful to now have this guidance to plan to.

“The loss of Easter is not unexpected, although it will be a significant further financial blow to an industry that has already lost £2billion of income over the past 12 months in our county alone. 

"Self-catering, camping, caravanning, retail and outdoor hospitality will potentially be able to open in a restricted way from 12 April, but it is hugely disappointing for hotels and indoor attractions who have worked so hard to provide Covid safe experiences and environments."

Gill said: "We will be looking closely at the detail behind the Prime Minister’s announcement and of course, the Chancellor’s statement next Wednesday 3 March. Our sector was the first to be hit by restrictions – and indeed, it has been the hardest hit - and it is now the last to fully reopen.

"It is essential that the Chancellor supports the calls that Cumbria Tourism and the wider industry have been consistently making to retain the 5% VAT rate, extend Business Rates Relief, extend furlough and provide support for those individuals and businesses who have been excluded from previous financial packages."