Hotels and BNBs across the Lake District have spoken out after the Government announced plans to allow their businesses to reopen.

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, the Lake District has suffered monumentally from months of closures.

And according to Boris Johnson's roadmap announced on February 22, the sector, as in previous lockdowns, will be one of the last to open up.

Hotels and bnbs can be expected to start trading again on May 17 if all goes according to plan regarding coronavirus cases and the vaccine rollout.

Now some of the area's hotel owners and managers have spoken about the 'light at the end of the tunnel', and just how the third national lockdown has been for their businesses.

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Sharon, manager, of the Gables Guesthouse, in Ambleside, said to LancsLive: "In my opinion, the Government could not have done more. It's been as good as it can be, really.

"The furlough scheme has been a lifesaver: we have had grants on and off and it's seen as through. I know people say the hospitality industry has had it bad - and they are right - but when you think about it, the arts have had nothing, so we have to look at it positively.

"It's been terribly hard and we just cant' wait to open again. It's been very difficult and horrible to manage, having to make staff redundant, but that's the hand we have been dealt with.

"The light is at the end of the tunnel. We are looking forward to opening - it still feels like a long way off, about ten or so weeks away, but we all getting there. I would really hope that this is the last time we have to go through these closures now."

Some hotel proprietors are 'disappointed' that the roadmap fails to acknowledge the Easter holidays, which are usually a lucrative time for the sector.

Tina Luke, owner of The Blue House Bed and Breakfast in Cartmel, to LancsLive: "Well lockdown three hasn’t been as bad as the first one due to it being during our quieter time, January is typically a time when we do maintenance, anyway.

"Even still, it's a bit disappointing that we won’t be opening until May 17. Last year when we reopened on July 4 we were full from day one; there we took all the required precautions and didn’t have any problems. It’s a shame we are losing a second Easter’s business.

Owner of the Dome House, Bowness-on-Windermere, added: "Whether the date is too early or too late, it's down to the scientists and it will be up to them to say whether they think it's an appropriate date or not. It's not up to me. The lockdown has been quiet, of course, but that's all there is to it."

Current official government guidance states: “Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing.”

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