Coronavirus and holiday parks – what you need to know
We’re currently weathering the storm of truly remarkable times. When Coronavirus was first talked about before Christmas, no one could have anticipated the impact it would have on our way of life here in the UK.
While there’s plenty of information out there about how to self-isolate and keep as safe as possible, there’s very little information that relates directly to caravans, caravan holidays – and what you should do if you own a static caravan on a holiday park.
The team here at HolidayHomeBuyer have kept a close watch over every government announcement and put together a quick guide that’ll help you make some decisions around all things caravan related at this difficult time, including:
- What to do if you’ve got a caravan/holiday park stay booked
- What you should do if you’re a caravan owner
- Whether you need to change your longterm caravan ownership plans
If you’d like any specific advice, you’re welcome to get in touch with the team here by using the contact form – we’ll do our very best to get back to you with clear information as quickly as we can.
Do you have a caravan holiday booked?
Clearly, COVID-19 has disrupted the holiday business in ways we have never seen before. Government guidelines around containment of the virus have become more and more strict, and non-essential travel (including travel to holiday destinations) is now strictly discouraged.
At the time of writing this, both Haven and Centre Parcs have announced they are closing all their UK sites from Friday 20th March until at least the 16th April - and Parkdean Resorts are going even further, closing their sites until 30th April.
Parks may be closed
Clearly, there are lots of people who have holidays booked well into the future - and if this is the case, many holiday parks and operators will be working on a case-by-case basis – so it’s a good idea to talk to them directly to see what their up-to-the-minute advice is for holidaymakers who have booked.
If your caravan holiday is cancelled, you can expect to be fully reimbursed by your provider - or take a credit note if you'd rather. However, it’s worth checking your terms and conditions carefully – as you may not be entitled to a full refund if you cancel. Again, talk to your specific holiday park if you’re not 100% sure where you stand.
Are you a holiday homeowner?
Tens of thousands of families and individuals around the UK own static caravan holiday homes – most of them on the same type of park that takes holidaymaker guests.
The question is – what does the Coronavirus mean for people who have a holiday home or second home caravan on a resort?
At the moment, holiday parks are generally still accessible for holiday home owners - this does not mean you should visit your caravan or lodge. Ultimately, government advice around the containment of the COVID-19 virus must come before everything else, so unless you have an absolutely necessary journey to make to your holiday home, you must stay at home.
Use sanitiser if you can
Clearly, there are still people who are travelling and accessing resorts and countryside areas in much the same way as before the virus outbreak. Government advice, until recently, was a little unclear on this - with advisors suggesting time outside as a positive. It’s important to remember that this advice has now changed. Unless absolutely necessary (or as part of exercise with people from your home), accessing outdoor areas is to be avoided.
Remember, NHS provisions in smaller, holiday towns and areas are likely to become overwhelmed more quickly than provisions in larger areas – so there’s no guarantee that you would receive the necessary medical attention if you were to travel then fall ill while at your caravan.
Can you self-isolate in a static caravan?
We’ve had holiday homeowners get in touch to ask if it’s a good idea and safe to self-isolate in a caravan or static holiday home.
Although we’re not equipped to offer medical advice – we do know caravans and caravan parks well – and our answer is clear – self-isolating on a holiday park is not a good idea, and self-isolating at home is far more preferable. Quite simply, park operators do not have a responsibility relating to keeping you there – so if they are forced to close, or they can no longer provide vital infrastructure (gas, electric, or water), then you would be forced to leave – potentially putting yourself or other people in danger.
If you are at home, stay at home and do not travel to self-isolate in your caravan.
Follow Government advice
At home, local authorities will do everything possible to ensure the infrastructure you need is still around you – but as a business, park operators cannot promise the same – as they may be forced to close or adapt their business around government restrictions.
Should I keep my holiday home?
Again, as the biggest independent source of advice on holiday home ownership in the UK, we’ve had lots of people get in touch to ask if they should sell their holiday homes – especially if they’re going to be incurring running costs for a caravan they cannot use.
At this stage, it’s not clear what the park operators response will be to the Coronavirus outbreak – but we urge you not to make any rash decisions. If you’re going to struggle to keep up with payments that relate to your holiday home – you should get in touch with the companies that you’re dealing with as soon as possible. Some finance providers are already offering payment holidays if you have a finance agreement – and you may find park operators are gearing up to do the same thing with your park-specific running costs.
Our message is clear – do not panic. Panic often leads to ill-thought-through decisions that you may later regret – so try to have conversations with your park before you make any decisions.
A message from the Holiday Home Buyer team
Although we’re a website – we’re run by real people with families that include elderly people and people with underlying health conditions. We understand what a concerning time this is for everyone – and, if we can, we’ll provide advice where possible.
We urge you to closely follow the government and NHS guidelines relating to the COVID-19 Coronavirus and do everything you can to keep yourself and others safe. In the short term, that might mean that your holiday plans are disrupted – but if that means that just one person is protected from ill-health, it’s a sacrifice that’s worth making.
Some helpful numbers and resources:
Guidance from the BBC website:
People are being advised not to ring NHS 111 to report their symptoms unless they are worried. They should also not go to their GP, or A&E.
Details for Scotland are to check NHS inform, then ring your GP in office hours, or 111 out-of-hours. In Wales call NHS 111, and in Northern Ireland, call your GP.
Haven Holidays Customer Service: 0330 100 6633
Parkdean Resorts Customer Service: 0344 335 3507
Hoeseasons Customer Service: 0345 498 6589