30.07.2021

Fears UK staycation resorts could become coronavirus hotspots

However, with domestic holidays becoming more popular, officials in coastal regions such as Dorset, Devon and Cornwall are concerned they are at risk of a local lockdown being imposed.

“We do not want to see the number of cases starting to rise again and local restrictions return,” said Devon council leader John Hart. “This means we all have to take personal responsibility, use our common sense and keep following the rules.”

Tourist destinations across the UK are urging people to stay vigilant during their “staycations” amid fears of a surge in coronavirus outbreaks this summer.

Holiday parks and other resorts are also taking extra precautions in an attempt to reassure visitors, following reports of at least 21 confirmed cases at a caravan park in Shropshire.

It comes after the government imposed an emergency quarantine on travel from Spain and warned that foreign holidays were at risk of cancellation during the pandemic.

Mr Hart said the council would keep “a very close eye on the situation to make sure we track any new cases and act fast if we see any potential hotspots that might signal a return of the virus”.

Devon’s director of public health, Dr Virginia Pearson, added: “We are pleased to welcome visitors to Devon but we ask that they remain vigilant. The advice is still, if you have symptoms or you have been in contact with a confirmed case, please stay at home.”

Meanwhile Cumbria, which is expecting large numbers of visitors to the Lake District, has already had to tackle a rise in infection rates in Carlisle and clusters linked to two pubs in the Eden area.

Colin Cox, the county’s director of public health, urged people to take the guidelines seriously. He said: “Outbreaks like this are going to happen if people don’t take the right precautions.

“This was always the risk as lockdown restrictions eased. Only by the public following the public health advice will we keep the virus in check.”

A recent survey found as many as four out of five adults were planning a staycation in the UK this summer because of concerns about travelling abroad during the pandemic.

Boris Johnson has also indicated that he is staying in the UK for his summer holiday and many resorts reported a surge in bookings when the easing of lockdown restrictions was announced last month.

Many holiday parks and resorts in the UK have introduced social distancing measures and offer refunds in the event that restrictions prevent guests from enjoying their break.

Holiday firm Haven, which runs dozens of caravan, touring and camping sites across the UK, told The Independent it had not had any outbreaks at any of its parks since reopening but had plans in place to deal with any cases if they arose.

“The safety and security of our guests, owners and team is our number one priority,” the firm said.

“In the unfortunate situation that a guest feels unwell while they are on holiday and showing symptoms of coronavirus then we would follow the guidance from the local authority and comply with any regulations in relation to isolation or closure.

“On vacating any caravan where a guest has shown symptoms of coronavirus we would seal the caravan for 72 hours before any team member would enter. The caravan would then have a deep clean ahead of being re-introduced into Haven’s holiday lets. We would also follow all guidelines within the Track and Trace system once aware of any positive cases.

“We have ensured that we have adopted social distancing measures across all our facilities, helping guests to feel safe and secure on our parks and feedback from guests has been extremely positive.”

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