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Yesterday was an important day in the road back to normalcy.

static caravan parks seemed busy along the Welsh coastline

Outdoor swimming pools, outdoor visitor attractions, including funfairs, amusement parks and theme parks re-opened. Pubs, cafes and restaurants in Wales opened but only for outdoor service as well.

Welcome back signs were noticeable in some parts of the four countries.

In Scotland, restaurants, cafes, museums opened their doors again as the country moves to level three rating. That also means that cross border travel can take place without there needing to be an essential reason for travelling. Some  caravan sites opened early as cars queued up in the west of Scotland.

What time had these people left to get to their pitches so early in the day?

On the mainland of the UK, then any person can travel to any part of the three countries without encountering restrictions.

In Northern Ireland, things are slightly different.

There is no law against travelling in any part of Northern Ireland. But the advice is still to stay local and to especially follow social distancing rules. If you do travel from  Great Britain and plan to stay for more than a day then the advice is to self-isolate once you get to the province for ten days. Note that this advice only!

In addition the Northern Irish First Minister, Arlene Foster, is seeking advice on domestic travel to the rest of the UK particularly as it affects families meeting up again. An announcement is expected later this week.

Meanwhile, pubs and restaurants, self-contained tourism accommodation as well as outdoor venues can reopen outdoors in Northern Ireland on Friday

In the Republic, zoos, wildlife parks and heritage centres can reopen – but not amusement parks – and zoos are allowed to reopen as well. However not all opened today so check first before you visit and check about booking in advance. Residents should stay within their county and not travel more than twenty kilometres from their home if they live near a county border.

In England, pubs and restaurants with outdoor areas have been open for a fortnight but there have been complaints about people booking and then not turning up thus depriving others would want to go out but were unable due to number restrictions.

How did the openings go?

I passed many a pub that had busy outdoor tables at lunchtime yesterday but not many restaurants were open that I could see. As for those connected with tourism, they are keeping their fingers crossed that the rush will continue well into Autumn!

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