There is an old yarn about the resident in Northern Ireland wanting to spend his annual summer holiday in Blackpool. He calls up a bed and breakfast and asks if there is availability for the Twelfth Week in July. The landlady said there was not, because there were only four weeks in July. Boom, boom. Updating to this summer, leave out the boom. It isn't boom for the hospitality business as we come out of lockdown.
There is an oddity about this approaching holiday season in that time for leisure has probably never been more available in living memory. Many are furloughed and many others are working from home.
And, of course, sadly, some have already lost jobs, or are facing the prospect of job loss, meaning that one way or another people are less time-limited than normal.
However, there are other debilitating limitations. Money is one, of course, but another is the reluctance of quite a few to launch themselves into the close-contact world of the hotel, or boarding house - no matter what officialdom is permitting.
However, the accommodation owners are very glad that at least they have some idea of the future, but must be fully aware of the caution expressed by deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill when she said, "Your hotel experience won't be back to what it was four months ago."
Difficulties facing the hospitality sector will have noticeable impact. The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has been thrust into prominence through issuing pandemic statistics, but its day job is to gather the figures relating to a host of general everyday activities.
Its document on the impact of coronavirus on the tourist trade makes for miserable reading, particularly since tourism has hitherto been worth about £1 billion annually.
The pandemic has degraded many of the agency's tourism information-gathering activities. What value is there in occupancy figures when accommodation providers are closed?
The agency states, baldly: "It is unlikely that there are any tourism trips being taken in Northern Ireland by external visitors due to Covid-19."
It remains to be seen what happens with domestic tourism after July 20, when hotels, boarding houses and campsites throughout Ireland can reopen. There's a chance they might be able to open earlier, depending on Covid-19 receding faster than anticipated.
That leaves some time for families to think about what is possible for a holiday if seeking to avoid close contact.
For years, like many, as the family was growing up, we happily camped and later caravanned. This now comes into its own if using the family car.
The vehicle is isolating and so is the destination. Camping and caravan pitches are designed to give space and they are pandemic-ready. So, incidently are many self-catering establishments.
The recent spells of great sunny summer weather has had many camping, caravan and boat-hire businesses gnashing their teeth, because the biggest driver of tourists towards them is cloudless blue sky.
In anticipation of the relaxation in July, they are relieved that bookings are beginning to appear from the local domestic market. Holidaymakers in Great Britain may have yet to appreciate that the ferries offer probably the safest form of public transport and that Ireland, north and south, could be an ideal destination.
Already in normal mode, anyone travelling by car will have little face-to-face contact until actually on the ship. You could have practically no contact if the ferry companies allowed passengers to remain in their vehicles for the shorter sea journeys, but that is forbidden by law for safety reasons.
Ferries are emphatically not to be associated with the woes of the cruise liners, some of which will not survive this turmoil. Worth noting: we could last without cruise ships, but scarcely without ferries.
The space onboard ferries makes social distancing easier. One-way passageways, spacing out cafeteria tables and limiting passenger numbers are all measures available to ferries.
Added to that is the fact that, in common with all surface travel, the air is fresh air for most areas. Deep cleaning is the order of the day after each sailing; all hand sanitiser stations are regularly topped up; all hand washing and drying facilities repeatedly cleaned; special attention is paid to sanitising all hand contact areas, including light switches, door handles and table tops; isolation areas have been designated, if needed; information posted encouraging good hygiene, reminding passengers of social distancing of two metres and to follow the signs about moving around the ships.
Passengers are also being encouraged to wear masks, which companies are providing, but ideally they would like customers to bring their own.
All this is not something new for the ferries. Because they are the island's lifeline, including for our food, they have had the pandemic measures in place for lorry drivers all along, remembering that unlike air travel, the ferries have been able to keep running.
So, when raising a hat to respect all those maintaining essential services, including public transport, remember the ferryman. If anyone can bring in tourists post-pandemic, he can.
It is hackneyed to say that things are altering. Jim Duke, MD of Abbey Caravans and Leisure, established in 1989, says that while he's lost business over the past while, sales are now booming for the sector, particularly of motorhomes.
He has little doubt that there is about to be a surge in domestic tourism centred on holidaying in an era of social distancing. Online, he is selling on the refrain, Get Yourself a Self-Isolation Unit, a line he hesitated about in case of social media backlash. But no. That's the new reality.
At the other end of Northern Ireland, the cruiser hire business on Lough Erne has lost Spring bookings but is optimistic, because you can be even more isolated and self-sufficient on a boat.
One firm, Aghinver Boat Company, can hardly wait for July 20, but thinks it unfair that the 7,000 registered private Erne boat-owners can already legally sail, but the 100 or so hire craft must remain immobile until next month. But inconsistencies abound these days.
Coronavirus has removed one inconsistency for us: electric bikes are at last legal.
Up until last month, they required a motorcycle licence. We are now in step with Britain and mainland Europe.
Stand by for a horde of silent backpackers asking if they can recharge from your hallway.