West Dorset hoteliers and B&B owners have finally had the news they've been waiting for.

They have been given the green light to reopen from July 4.

It comes after months of uncertainty and worry.

Paul, owner of West Bay's Haddon House Hotel, said: “We are very pleased to be reopening. This is great news and we have been waiting for some time for this to come. We just need to get some business in again. Funnily enough, since the announcement the phone has not stopped ringing.

“We are all ready to go. We have got signs up everywhere and labels on the carpet but they all say two metres so we are going to have to change them.

“We have also added a lot of outside seating at the front of the hotel which I think might be here to stay as it looks most welcoming and means people can sit outside.

“I think it will be a slow start in the hotel sector, people might prefer to go to secure apartments, and as we have got a lot of elderly guests I think they might be a bit cautious to come.”

Kevin French, owner of Eype's Mouth Country Hotel, said it was time to 're-establish our summer.'

“It is great news as we need to get going," he said. "We need to re-establish our summer, make the most of what is left of it because all our concerns are that we are heading into a winter with the summer behind us.

“We are delighted that we can move forward and get back to business and people need some enlightening now to cheer them up. We are yet to know where there is the confidence to visit hotels and places of interest.

“I think that we, as an industry, have been working very hard and close with the Government for guidelines of how that reopening should happen and, for our part, we are looking at all angles and aspects to ensure we have both the safety of our guests and our staff. We are a small business in a small and rural setting and our staff are dependant on their jobs with us so we need to get back to sustain their employment which I think is as important as managing the business as a whole.

“The nicest thing is that those people who are regulars to the area and to us have been making contact with us constantly and sending their regards to the staff which gives us a lot of satisfaction and inspires us to want to welcome then back.”

And Sue Dean, of Colly Farm in Bridport, said she was 'hesitant but delighted' after being closed for so long.

"We are ready to go," she said. "We’ve had enough time to spruce ourselves up during the lockdown, and we have all of the social distancing measures in place.

“I think one has to be very careful and respectful of the virus as we don’t want anymore happenings of it and we don’t want a second spike.

“I haven’t taken the decision to reopen lightly. I am being very cautious and we will take it step by step.”