Caravan park boots out baffled holidaymakers as strict lockdown measures kick in

Devastated holidaymakers were given just a few hours of notice before being turfed out of the UK’s largest caravan parks to comply with strict new lockdown rules.

Tourists had been enjoying a late summer break at Trecco Bay park in Wales but were stunned when wardens ordered them to leave.

One dad told of a last-minute rush to cut short his family holiday as they were given hours to pack up and leave the site.

The owners of the park in Porthcawl, South Wales, said the site must go into "hibernation" at 6pm Tuesday because of new local coronavirus lockdowns.

Bosses were left with no choice but to close the park with immediate effect this afternoon, reports Wales Online.

Parkdean Resorts, the company which runs the site, said all holidaymakers and holiday homeowners have been asked to leave the park "as soon as possible".

Holidaymakers there will be offered a full refund, a credit note for 120% of their holiday price or the option to re-book a break at another park, the company said.

Guests due to travel to the park within the next two weeks have also been contacted and offered a refund.

Sean Gattrell, 25, from Newport, has had his family holiday cut short.

He was asked to leave Trecco Bay today along with partner Chloe Brant, 21, and baby Layla Gattrell, 14 months, together with other family members after they arrived on Friday.

Sean said his family were meant to stay until this coming Friday but were suddenly asked to leave this afternoon.

Sean said: "We overheard one of the Parkdean members say that at 6pm they were leaving.

"Customers were told they had to leave by 6pm.

"They just basically said with the restrictions coming in they had to close – the whole park had to close.

"We have had three-and-a-half to four hours to pack everything and get the baby ready to get off the site."

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Sean said the family have been told they will be fully refunded for the booking, but he now faces further heartbreak as he lives in a different area to his partner.

They are also travelling by bus and train to get home so are in for a long journey.

"My partner and my baby are from Cardiff," he added.

"It’s hard to get everything together because we had to bring extra for the baby."

He went on: "It’s mixed emotions – it’s sad because I live in Newport. I am separated from my partner and my baby.

"I’m in lockdown and they are not. Layla has enjoyed the holiday, but she is just so confused now."

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Steve Richards, CEO of Parkdean Resorts, which owns Trecco Bay, said: "This closure will affect many businesses and jobs in Porthcawl who rely on the regular influx of tourists to the area and, of course, it will mean many hard-working Welsh people who account for over 90% of our guests, will now not be able to enjoy a well-earned break."

The caravan park is in Bridgend, which is one of four areas of Wales that were ordered to go into local lockdown at 6pm on Tuesday, along with Merthyr, Newport and Blaenau Gwent.

Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf were already in local lockdown. The rules mean that people can only enter or leave the area with a reasonable excuse.

It is a huge blow for Parkdean Resorts, which said Trecco Bay is Europe’s largest holiday park.

Since the park reopened on July 13, the company said more than 50,000 have visited the site.

It is not yet known how many holidaymakers are currently on the site, but Parkdean Resorts said all guests have now been asked to leave "as soon as possible".

Steve was scathing of the rules and said he did not believe the park posed a risk.

He added: "Trecco has an enviable record of providing safe and fun holidays for its hard-working Welsh customers.

"Since reopening on 11 July for holiday homeowners and 13 July for holidaymakers, Trecco has welcomed over 50,000 people to park.

"Holiday parks are by their nature typically located in rural, isolated locations by the coast and not in heavily populated urban areas.

"The density of people per square metre is considerably less than in town centres and has the added benefit of coastal and rural fresh air, which is vital for mental and physical good health."

He went on: "The caravans and lodges on our parks are individual, with no shared doors or communal areas, they are self-contained, self-catered and have no shared air-conditioning systems.

"On a wider level, it is also noted that since July 13, the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, has recorded 212 cases of Covid-19 over nine weeks, and 61 deaths from Covid in the entire Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board region."

The company said the following measures have been announced for those affected:

  • All holidaymakers and holiday homeowners currently at Trecco Bay should comply with the legislation by leaving park as soon as possible and in line with the lockdown

  • Holidaymakers on park currently will be offered a full refund, a credit note for 120% (up to a maximum of £150) of their holiday price or the option to re-book a break at another park.

  • Holidaymakers due to travel to Trecco Bay within the next two weeks will be contacted and offered a full refund, a credit note for 120% (up to a maximum of £150) of their holiday price or the option to re-book a break at another park.

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