Butlin’s will shut down two of its holiday resorts in an effort to keep its staff and guests safe and reduce the spread of coronavirus as more areas are plunged into the strictest Tier 3 restrictions.
The holiday firm confirmed that its resorts in Bognor Regis, west Sussex, and Minehead in Somerset, will close from December 18 in order to ‘limit contact’ and ‘avoiding unnecessary journeys’.
The move comes as the Government faces increasing pressure to take a local approach and split counties into different lockdown brackets after some villages claimed they were being unfairly dragged into the toughest restrictions.
More than 34million people are now living under Tier 3 rules, which prohibit people from meeting other households indoors and mean bars and restaurants can only offer take-away services.
Butlin’s will shut down two of its holiday resorts in Bognor Regis, west Sussex, and Minehead in Somerset. (Stock image)
In a message on Twitter the holiday resort said it will close its two resorts in an effort to keep its guests and team safe
In a statement on Twitter Butlin’s said: ‘Due to the number of areas moving into tier 3 and to continue to keep our guests and team safe by following the latest government guidance of limiting contact and avoiding unnecessary journeys, we’re sad to say that we’ll be closing our Bognor Regis and Minehead resorts from Friday, 18th December, for the remainder of 2020.
‘We know this will be disappointing for you and your family, particularly during this time of year.
‘We’ve worked hard over the past few months to be as flexible as possible following the change in government advice, whilst continuing to give our guests a memorable and fun break and keeping you and our team
‘As always, we’ll be in touch via email, SMS or letter to discuss your options.
‘We’d like to thank all of you for your support this year and we can’t wait to see you all again in 2021. – Your Butlin’s Team.’
It comes after four Butlin’s workers tested positive for coronavirus at their resort in Skegness.
In October the company said: ‘We can confirm that four team members have tested positive for coronavirus at our Skegness resort.
The company said the resorts would shut down from December 18 for the remainder of the year
‘We took immediate steps to isolate them upon symptoms being reported, in line with government guidance and our Covid safe protocols.
History of Butlin’s: Billy Butlin opens first site in Skegness in 1936
Billy Butlin opened Butlin’s first site in Skegness on 11 April 1936, which doubled in size in its first year.
Two years later, a second camp opened in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex.
Mr Butlin handed over his two camps to help with the war efforts in the 1940s, with Clacton becoming an army camp and Skegness HMS Royal Arthur. He also had sites at Ayr, Pwllheli and Filey.
He bought all the sites back after the war and opened indoor heated pools in the 1950s.
In the 1970s, people started holidaying abroad more frequently, losing the specialness of the British seaside.
‘Holiday camps’ faded and the Butlins sold the business to the Rank Organisation.
Mr Butlin died in 1980 and Redcoats lined his funeral procession.
Redcoats were brought in after families weren’t mingling as Mr Butlin hoped in the first week.
He ordered Norman Bradford, a senior engineer, to engage with the crowd and then go to buy a distinctive blazer. Mr Butlin decided red portrayed the cheerful holiday atmosphere he wanted. The Redcoats were born by the end of his first week in business.
‘We have fully complied with all the necessary NHS Test and protocol procedures and in line with track and trace requirements, we have also isolated a number of our team they could have come into contact with.
‘We have had no further cases reported and the venues have been subject to robust and frequent cleaning routines.
‘The safety and welfare of our team and guests is of the utmost importance to us and we’d like to reassure all guests that we have strict protocols covering hygiene, social distancing and PPE firmly in place to protect both our guests and team.’
Butlin’s was opened in 1936, when Billy Butlin bought a plot of land in Skegness to make a British seaside break accessible to all.
He wanted families to feel cared for while they were away and built a team – now known as Redcoats – to set the standard for providing brilliant service to guests.
Butlin’s has three resorts located in the seaside towns of Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness.
They host entertainment and activities throughout the day to keep the whole family entertained, from workouts to live shows.
The Bognor Regis resort in West Sussex borders the South Downs National Park and has three hotels and a new family pool.
Minehead is the largest of the three and is on the hilly moors of Exmoor, Somerset, while Skegness is next to the Blue Flag sandy beach.
Earlier today Boris Johnson hinted that the whole of Kent could remain in Tier 3 despite increasing pressure for the Government to take a local approach and split counties into different lockdown brackets.
Despite huge disparities in the rates of infection, the Prime Minister told a Downing Street press conference tonight that Kent was still seeing a ‘worrying’ rise in infections.
He said: ‘There is no doubt we are winning and we will win our long struggle against this virus, which makes it all the more important that we hold our nerve this winter.
‘Because we are now in a race to protect us all while doing everything we can to keep the virus under control. And thanks to the colossal collective effort in November we did bring the R below 1, we did get the infection rate down.
‘But I must be frank with you, we are already seeing worrying rises in some parts of the country.
‘Kent is still seeing rising infections and the number of cases in London is at 270 per 100,000 people.
‘And that’s why we acted quickly by moving London into Tier 3 from today. And tomorrow the Health Secretary will announce the outcome of the latest tiering review.’
The Prime Minister made the comments as he urged Britons to take extra precautions and keep their Christmas get-togethers ‘short and local’ to minimise the risk of spreading the disease.