Southport is preparing to welcome visitors with open arms after the Government confirmed that remaining restrictions on the seaside resort’s tourism businesses will be removed next week.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed at his Downing Street Briefing on Monday evening that indoor hospitality at restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs will be allowed to reopen from next Monday (17th May).
Hotels, B&Bs, guest houses, cinemas, theatres, museums, children’s centres and other attractions will also be allowed to welcome back customers.
The announcement is fantastic news for businesses across Southport, which welcomed 9.1million visitors in 2019, the year before the Covid pandemic struck.
Over 6,500 jobs in Southport are dependent on the tourism industry and business owners in the resort are excitedly preparing to welcome back guests.
Southport Business Improvement District CEO Rachel Fitzgerald said: “Southport has a thriving tourism and hospitality sector, and hundreds of local businesses will be delighted with the news that they can now get ready to welcome back customers.
“There is no better place than Southport for a day out, a holiday or a staycation and we are looking forward to giving a warm welcome to visitors as they return.
“With many restrictions in place on foreign travel this year, we hope that 2021 will be the year of the Staycation which will allow hotels, restaurants, bars and attractions across our town to start to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic.
“I hope people in Southport will also give all the support they can to our local businesses, which have had such a tough time these past few months.
“If you’ve missed your meals out, your nights out and your days out then please take your pick of the many superb places that we have in our town.”
Southport Pleasureland has already been in operation since 12th April. The easing of restrictions on 17th May means that many more local attractions will be able to open too, with the Bank Holiday at the end of May expected to become particularly busy.
Hundreds of hotels, B&Bs and guest houses will be allowed to reopen to overnight visitors.
A number of exciting events are planned to take place this year including Southport Comedy Festival, Southport Food and Drink Festival, the British Musical Fireworks Championship, UB40 at Victoria Park, Comedy In The Park and more besides.
Earlier this year, Southport BID completed its programme of providing a “boulevard of lights” along the entire length of the mile-long Lord Street boulevard, with 300,000 lights providing a beautiful atmosphere for night-time diners, revellers and shoppers.
Southport BID has also been part of the Southport Town Deal board which has provided £900,000 funding towards the transformation of Southport Market into an exciting new food, drink and events venue. The market, being converted in a project led by Sefton Council, is due to open within the next few weeks.