by Q Radio News
Pubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels in Northern Ireland are set for a busy first weekend back open.
Traders in the hospitality industry welcomed customers back yesterday for the first time in three months, after being forced to close due to the coronavirus lockdown enforced.
The sector employs around 65,000 people across the region.
The step is part of the phased unlocking of the Northern Ireland economy.
However, hoteliers are warning customers that it won't be business as usual this weekend.
Strict safety measures are in place with limits on the number of customers allowed inside to ensure social distancing and the safety of both staff members and customers.
Just some of the safety measures in place as Seagoe Hotel reopens this morning.— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) July 3, 2020
There’s strict social distancing, hand sanitisers and one way systems in place pic.twitter.com/YryhkDSVBe
The Seagoe Hotel in Portadown was among those which reopened yesterday
Janice Gault is from the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation which represents many in the sector.
She says around 50% of members will open over the course of this weekend, with others following suit in the coming months.
"The majority of hotels should be back in business by August.
"It has been a challenging time for us all and I think it is important to remember we have a role in restoring the Northern Ireland economy.
"At the moment we are opening against a background of considerable constraints and we look forward as measures ease that we will be able to restore a full trading service to our many guests."
More on reopening of Northern Ireland's hospitality sector: