Holiday parks look ahead to possible summer reopening
PUBLISHED: 08:18 18 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06 18 May 2020
Holiday parks and attractions across Norfolk and Suffolk are making preparations ahead of potentially reopening during the summer months.
While regulations against going on holiday still apply, companies are optimistic of coinciding a return with phase three of the government’s new COVID-19 ‘recovery strategy’, beginning from July 4.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has said international holidays this summer are unlikely, an assessment domestic firms hope could serve in their favour.
Haven has closed its four Norfolk parks - in Great Yarmouth, Hopton, Caister and Belton - until July 2, but has announced it will begin offering ‘Haven Hideaway’ breaks.
Sites are set to reopen from July with social distancing measures in place and self-contained accommodation.
Guests will be able to order takeaway food and use launderettes and mini-markets, but will not have access to pub and restaurants, swimming pools, and on-site entertainment.
The company says it anticipates being able to offer the “full Haven experience” in 2021.
Along the coast, Scratby Hall Caravan Park is working to potentially reopen at the beginning of July and has discussed operating at a reduced capacity.
Its management team admits opening with full capacity at any point this year is “unlikely”, and says use of the site’s shared washrooms is an important consideration.
Meanwhile, Center Parcs, which has a site in Elveden, Suffolk, has repeatedly extended its closure since lockdown rules were introduced, most recently until Thursday, June 11.
That closure is expected to be pushed back even further, but staff are reportedly devising plans which will see parks reopen with distancing restrictions.
As holiday parks gear up towards a potential reopening within the seven weeks, the tourist attractions they help support are also hopeful of a return to normality.
Peter Jay, owner of the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth, believes the likelihood of holidays abroad being off the cards could serve as a huge boost to Norfolk’s tourism industry.
“Personally I think foreign holidays are out of the window for at least another year, so this could really signal a boom for Norfolk,” said Mr Jay.
“I think July 4 could be a really significant day. We have really had a battle on our hands but I’m feeling a lot better after hearing the latest advice.”
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