Holiday parks shut down to stop coronavirus spread - but some stay open
PUBLISHED: 14:04 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:33 23 March 2020
Holiday parks across Norfolk are shut from today, but some are staying partially open for now.
Over the weekend, Norfolk’s MPs urged holidaymakers and second home owners to stay away from the county, fearing an influx of visitors fleeing cities would lead to the spread of coronavirus.
Richardson’s, which owns Hemsby Beach holiday park, closed all its accommodation facilities on Sunday.
Chief executive Greg Munford said: “It is a very challenging time right now. We know this is the best thing for our teams, guests and the wider community. We have to be as responsible as we can. Customers have been extremely supportive.”
Parkdean resorts, which operates parks including Vauxhall, Breydon Water, California Cliffs, Kessingland Beach, and Heacham Beach parks, is shut.
But people who own a holiday home on the park can still visit their property.
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Explaining that decision, chief executive Steve Richards said: “Each park is on average 42 acres with wide open spaces, located on beach fronts and isolated locations and our holiday homes are set on average 4m apart.”
Zena Bensley, owner of Florida Holiday Park in Hemsby, has closed the homes she owns but said she could not stop other owners on the site from subletting or living in their units on site.
“A couple of owners have told me if I close the park completely they will sue me,” she said. “I have closed all my chalets but that is only 15 of more than 118 units.”
The Beeston Group, which owns seven holiday parks in Norfolk and Suffolk, including Mundesley, Beeston Regis and Kessingland, said it was not taking any more bookings and would shut once current guests had left.
“We are advising people (with existing bookings) not to come here,” a spokesman said. “There are people on the park at the moment but they are going home.”
Newport Caravan Park said it was not opening on April 1 as planned, while Searles of Hunstanton said it shut at 10am on Monday.
“We are mindful of the impact this decision will have on our customers, staff and local suppliers but we are committed to trying to help beat the spread of this terrible virus,” they said.
Norfolk Cottages, meanwhile, said it was not taking any bookings for before June 4.