Holiday parks and tourism attractions across the UK are putting in place plans to reopen for the summer – with new rules on social distancing.
One of the largest holiday park companies, Haven, will reopen at the start of July with limits on numbers who can stay at its sites.
Center Parcs expects to extend the closure of its holiday villages in the UK and Ireland into June, but is looking at ways to reopen with social distancing in place between guests and staff.
The moves come after health secretary Matt Hancock said was unlikely that foreign holidays would be possible this summer because of the continued threat of coronavirus.
Haven announced last week that it would extend the closure of its holiday parks through June, a move which will affect 56,000 breaks. However, it said that it would be reopening in July but with new restrictions in place.
“For guests who will be holidaying with us, we will be making a range of changes to our check-in process and limiting the number of guests staying on park at any time,” said Gerard Tempest, Haven’s guest and proposition director.
Holidaymakers hoping to go to one of the Center Parcs villages have been told the sites remain closed until June 11. A spokesman said the closure period was expected to be extended, and that staff were planning how to reopen with social distancing measures.
In the Broads National Park, Ian Russell, the owner of Wroxham Barns, a children’s farm and visitor attraction, said it would be operating at 30% capacity when it reopens. “We are still awaiting guidelines from Visit England and government on what social distancing operating requirements will look like ,” said Russell.
Jack Jay, from the indoor Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth, said he and colleagues were looking at whether it was viable to open with hundreds fewer people in the audience to allow social distancing.
There has been confusion among consumers about whether hotels and bed and breakfast businesses are obliged to give money or vouchers should a holiday be cancelled.
“The key thing here is whether the holiday is ‘packed’. Package holidays are covered by the Package Travel Regulations and you should be given a refund 14 days after the holiday is cancelled,” said Martyn James of consumer complaints site Resolver.
“Bookings made direct are not part of a refund scheme set down in law. But your contract should cover what you are entitled to should the trip not be possible.
“In the absence of anything definitive, you may be best taking the vouchers if you can get in writing that you can cash them in for a refund at a later stage should you not want to travel.”