Coronavirus has changed not only everything in our lives but also the way we travel.
The Omicron variant has spread rapidly and brought with it a new wave of restrictions, but the good news is that holidays are still on the cards both for abroad trips and staycations.
Holiday bookings have reportedly surged following the recent change to the travel testing rules in the UK.
Britons looking to travel abroad will no longer need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result when arriving back to the UK.
The travel industry has welcomed the news that both pre-departure Covid tests and the requirement for PCR tests are to be scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers and under 18s.
Many airlines and holiday companies have seen a surge in bookings because of this, with Kuoni predicting travel will be 90% back to normal before the end of Spring.
But what about staycations here in the UK? Have the rules changed at holiday sites such as Haven, Center Parcs, Butlins and others?
The rules to coronavirus restrictions are constantly changing as the government measure the spread of the Omicron variant as well as pressures on the NHS.
Therefore travel restrictions are also constantly evolving so it can be hard to keep up – and because of this many travel sites here in the UK are abiding by their own restrictions.
So we’ve come up with a handy travel guide below if you’re thinking of taking your next break away to a UK site this year.
The guide features some of the most popular holiday parks, sites and companies here in the UK and what the latest rules are at each.
Butlin’s family breaks will return in February 2022.
Butlin’s say the safety and well-being of their guests and team has always been, and will remain, their biggest priority, and they always follow the latest Government advice.
A Butlin’s spokesperson said: “We have increased safety measures on resort and will be adhering to the latest face covering guidance.
“If guests are unable to travel on a family break due to Covid, we have our Coronavirus Guarantee in place which allows guests to change or cancel their breaks.
“As with all our breaks we are following the latest Government guidance.
“None of our family breaks require guests coming to stay to provide a Covid pass. If a guest has symptoms or test positive for Covid-19, they should not travel to any of our resorts.
“Our Coronavirus Guarantee is in place if a guest is required to self-isolate or Government restrictions don’t allow them to travel.”
Butlin’s say they continue to see strong demand for their 2022 breaks.
A spokesperson added: “Our family holidays start from £69.
“There’s a variety of breaks available including our new Showtime Midweek and popular Just for Tots breaks, perfect for families with under 5s.
“Our school holiday breaks run during half terms, Easter, and summer holidays with plenty of new shows including a brand-new headline performance from star of stage and screen Stephen Mulhern.”
To book a Butlin’s break visit the website here.
Center Parcs say they continue to follow all Government guidance, as well as operating at a reduced capacity to allow people to maintain social distancing.
Staff are also continuing an enhanced cleaning programme at the sites.
Center Parcs have a ‘Book with Confidence guarantee’ which they say allows guests to move their trip to a future date, or receive a full refund, if they are no longer able to visit due to coronavirus or other reasons.
The short break provider has villages at Whinfell Forest, Cumbria, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, Elveden Forest, Suffolk, Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, Longleat Forest Wiltshire and Longford Forest, County Longford, Ireland.
Guests can book lodges, hotels and apartments, adapted lodges, dog-friendly lodges and even luxury spa suites at some of the sites.
To book a trip or to find out more about Center Parcs, visit their website here.
Forest Holidays are UK based and specialise in lodge breaks as well as login cabin accommodation.
They have 12 inspiring locations for guests to choose from including Sherwood Forest, Delamere Forest, Forest of Dean, Deerpark, Blackwood Forest, Thorpe Forest, Cropton, Ardgartan Argyll, Strathyre, Beddgelert Snowdonia, Keldy and Garwnant, Brecon Beacons.
Some of the sites are home to luxury hot tub cabins and offer a wide range of activities for families, groups and couples.
Forest Holidays operate a Clean and Safe policy which includes a Clean Assure requirement, meaning staff will clean cabins and conduct an additional clean of cabin hotspots using BioGuard and lock up the cabin so no one can enter before guests arrive.
Those thinking of booking a break with Forest Holidays can be assured of any problems which may arise with their Book with total confidence guarantee.
This means if guests’ breaks are directly impacted by Covid throughout the whole of 2022, their money is safe.
Travellers can request a full refund or rebook a new break for another time (where the break is cheaper we’ll refund the difference).
For added flexibility, take out Flexible Amendment which gives you the option to move your break up to eight days before you travel.
Latest rules are still yet to be announced from Forest Holidays but travellers can keep up to date with their updates here.
To book a break with Forest Holidays visit their website here.
With 2021 being a popular year for the UK holiday industry, family holiday company Haven say they are gearing up for a busy 2022.
Haven parks are due to reopen to holidaymakers on March 11, and the travel company say they will continue to follow any government guidance around restrictions that may be in place at the time of travel.
A Haven spokesperson said: “Any restrictions will be made clear (such as face-coverings in shops) to guests as part of their pre-arrival journey as these may alter from country to country.
“Several measures that Haven introduced once the parks reopened after the height of the pandemic in 2020 continue to be in place to help guests feel safe and secure.”
Haven says this involves; their contactless check in process, allowing guests to quickly reach their accommodation once arriving on holiday without lots of interaction, increased cleaning of holiday homes will continue as well as Haven’s Caravan Cleanliness Guarantee which provides guests with the reassurance of a full refund of the cost of their holiday if the cleanliness does not meet Haven’s high standards.
Haven will also continue to offer its Covid Money Back Guarantee which allows guests to move or cancel their break at no extra cost should it be affected by the ongoing issues with Covid-19.
“This should provide peace of mind that should they or any of their party be unable to travel or restrictions on travel are put in place, they are protected,” added a Haven spokesperson.
Guests can use the Covid Money Back Guarantee within 28 days and three days of travel.
Haven say their holiday sales have been strong since the end of 2021 and they have seen many guests in the last week still opting to select a UK holiday and take advantage of the current early booking offers in place.
Haven own and operate 40 award-winning family holiday parks throughout England, Scotland and Wales. They offer a full programme of activities and entertainment alongside being located next to some of Britain’s most beautiful beaches and brightest resorts making them a great base for exploring the local area.
Book a trip with Haven here.
Hoseasons are still operating for bookings in 2022.
A Hoseasons spokesperson said: “Rules and guidance on Covid change regularly and often at short notice, meaning we are unable to state what will be in place and when.
“That’s why we recommend that our customers keep up to date with government announcements.
“Parks are not owned by Hoseasons but are likely to have implemented measures to ensure guest safety in line with Covid legislation, such as requirements to wear masks in public spaces.”
The short breaks and longer stays operator offer travellers a ‘Book with Confidence’ guarantee.
This promises that guests’ money is protected if they have to cancel their booking, or they cannot legally go ahead due to UK public health measures, or they or someone in their party has Covid or their isolation period overlaps with their booking. Find out more here.
Hoseasons offer travellers luxury lodges, boating adventures and seaside caravan breaks in the UK and have been operating for 75 years.
Book a trip with Hoseasons here.
Park Holidays have said they’ve seen an increase in advanced bookings for trips this year.
The travel company has more than 40 holiday parks across the UK, offering guests caravan stays and lodge holidays, as well as glamping breaks, touring and camping and holiday home ownership.
“Advance bookings at our 40-plus holiday parks in England and Scotland are the strongest they have ever been in the three decades we have been operating,” said Tony Clish, director of Park Holidays UK.
“That’s why we believe it’s important that people should be able to plan ahead with the confidence that their holiday will be ring-fenced against disappointment.
“We are doing this with a guarantee that any 2022 stay booked now can be put on hold under a range of different circumstances, right up until the day before the holiday is due to start.”
This means that if guests booking the holiday or any member of their party is required to self-isolate, or is displaying any Covid-19 symptoms, they can move the holiday to another date with no administration charges.
Alternatively, they can just choose to put their plans on ice for up to twelve months, and to re-book the stay whenever it best suits them.
“The same assurances will also apply if government-imposed travel restrictions are in place at the time when the holiday is due to start,” added Tony, “In this instance, or if parks are required to close under Covid-19 regulations, a full refund will also be available.
“In other words, all 2022 holidays will be protected and nobody will be out of pocket in the type of situations described and which we have witnessed on different occasions over the past eighteen months of the pandemic.
“A similar guarantee was offered last year, and in these uncertain times we think it’s fair to carry this assurance forward.”
Park Holidays are maintaining various precautionary measures in place at their parks, including the deep cleaning of accommodation between visits, the provision of sanitising stations, and the display of NHS QR codes around the parks which aim to encourage customers to scan.
Safety advice is also provided in advance to customers before their stay, reminding them of sensible steps to take whilst on holiday for the protection not just of themselves but also other guests and staff.
Tony said: “The wearing of face-masks will be in line with government requirements in place at the time, and we anticipate that, like last year, customers will in all respects display a responsible attitude to observing whatever is required of them to keep everyone as secure as possible.”
When for their response regarding the recent travel change here in the UK, Tony said: “Although the vast majority of our guests live in the UK, we are always pleased to welcome families from overseas including mainland Europe.
“The recent lifting of the need to take a pre-departure test before entering the UK will, I suspect, provide such visitors with additional confidence – and, of course, our Covid-19 booking guarantee will also apply to them.
“The high volume of bookings we are receiving for this year suggests that there is not going to be much appetite for returning to overseas holidays any time soon.
“I think many people have found that a UK holiday can be even more exciting and enjoyable than going abroad, and provides just the type of relaxing experience we are all hoping a holiday will deliver.”
Details of 2022 holidays at Park Holidays UK are available on the group’s website here.
Parkdean Resorts run 67 holiday parks in the UK which are designed with families in mind.
They offer caravan breaks as well as lodge holiday accommodation.
In line with the latest Government legislation, people are required to wear a face covering in some of the park’s facilities.
Rules on face coverings vary between England, Scotland and Wales and some exemptions apply, so Parkdean Resorts recommended checking the Government website for the country you’re visiting prior to travel.
- In England, under the current guidance, face coverings must be worn in most public facing indoor areas;
- In Scotland, face coverings must be worn in shops, bars, restaurants and cafes. This includes our on-park convenience stores and indoor food and drink outlets;
- In Wales, face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces. This includes our complex and indoor facilities.
If anybody tests positive for Covid-19 before the start of their holiday, Parkdean Resorts would ask that they do not attend their holiday and follow all government guidance.
Anybody in this situation can contact the company at the earliest opportunity to discuss their options, which will include a voucher to rebook their holiday within 12 months, or the chance to change the date of their holiday with no amendment fee.
To book a trip with Parkdean Resorts visit the website here.
Pontins say they have some fantastic UK family holiday offers available this year.
Pontins are yet to respond to our requests for the latest travel rules at their holiday parks so it’s worth keeping an eye on their website here for updates.
The holiday company say they have created a set of measures to maintain the safety of our guests and staff.
These are some of the wide range of measures they are taking:
- Enhanced cleaning
- Social distancing
- Complimentary sanitiser
- Staff awareness and training.
Sykes Cottages offer travellers holiday cottages to rent in the UK.
They have over 1,000 properties available to book for 2022, suitable for everyone from families to couples. There’s even dog-friendly cottages and self-catering options available.
The holiday company operates a Book with confidence guarantee, meaning if your booking can’t take place due to a Covid-19 lockdown you are protected. Find out more about it here.
Sykes Holiday Cottages are also supporting their property owners to ensure new cleaning procedures are being adhered to.
Summary of key recommendations for making the property guest ready:
- Provide guests with easy to follow instructions in the property on what to do on check out
- Provide extra cleaning products to enable your guests to keep the property clean during their stay
- Create a cleaning checklist for cleaners to follow
- Consider check in/check out times to accommodate additional cleaning and allow for extra time if required.
Sykes Cottages are yet to update us on their latest rules so you can keep up to date on their website here before you book a holiday with them.