The Youth Hostel Association is to begin a phased re-opening of its youth hostels in England and Wales from July 17.

The association's website is now taking bookings for stays in private rooms in some English hostels. Pods and cabins are also available in a number of locations, with pitch-up camping to follow soon.

Sixty-three properties have been made available for exclusive hire including YHA Black Sail in Cumbria, which is usually only open during the winter months.

There will be enhanced cleaning and safety procedures in place such as social distancing and contactless payment.

James Blake, chief executive of YHA (England & Wales), said: “It’s tremendously exciting that we are able to open our doors again.

“Like so many other organisations, the coronavirus pandemic has hit YHA hard. But 90 years of history has shown us that YHA will recover and play a key role in helping people reconnect with each other."

The organisation took the decision to reopen after consulting 10,000 customers.