I hope everyone who is reading this blog is well and safe. COVID-19 has certainly changed the world we know for the foreseeable future and although we are starting to emerge from the lockdown restrictions, we are certainly not out of the woods yet, as this virus pandemic is likely to rumble on for a long time yet, with new waves of infection predicted later in the year, if not before.
That said, we must all look forward. We must not give up on our plans and dreams. We must take our personal responsibility for our health and that others seriously. We must adapt and with every passing day, readjust our expectations and daily lives to the new era dawning.
There has been much confusion over COVID-19 from the politicians and the media. Conflicting messages of what we can do and what we cannot do. This is a huge problem for all of us and tolerance is waning! Mass gatherings are undermining lockdown restrictions and the four nations of the UK all have different rules and regulations! People are starting to vote with their feet, evidenced by the number of cars on the road. A united front from our nation’s leaders would have been appreciated and a very welcome change at this time of crisis! Unfortunately, we do not live in that ideal world.
Acorn Leisure holiday parks are all located in Flintshire North Wales. That means that the rules governing COVID-19 lockdown is different to that in England, where Boris Johnston has confirmed holiday parks can open again on 4th July.
The Welsh Government have not set dates for re-opening holiday parks and holiday accommodation. They have legislated in ways that the UK Government have not. The 2-metre social distancing rule is enshrined in stature – the only UK nation to do so. Local travel is still being enforced for residents in Wales, in that we can only travel 5 miles from our home, but the garden centres are open! We can exercise more than once a day and of course the golf courses are open! Non-essential shops are still closed, but the Welsh Economy Minister for the Welsh Government, Ken Skates has announced this is changing and he hopes the 22nd June will see shops of all types opening again.
This article was originally published on Wednesday 10th June. Ken Skates on that date mentioned that he hoped Holiday Parks would be able to open on the 9th July (only 5 days after England), but this statement has now been retracted as a result of a subsequent speech by the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford later that week, who is not for moving from the traffic light system of getting Wales open and moving again. Opening of holiday parks in Wales sits in the Amber zone. Mr. Drakeford says we are still in the Red Zone. So, we are still all at sea with a date and timetable for opening holiday parks to our Acorn Leisure holiday homeowners.
That all said, there is a lot of activity, representation, protests and petitions from all types of tourism sector businesses in Wales, pushing for clarity and dates from the Welsh Government for re-opening Wales to residents of Wales, visitors of Wales and holiday homeowners in Wales.
From an Acorn Leisure perspective, we are advocating hard for our holiday homeowners to be allowed to travel into Flintshire North Wales to use their holiday homes. This is an ongoing discussion with the local authority. With controlled, practical solutions, it should be possible for holiday homeowners to stay in their lodges, chalets, static caravans and seasonal tourers on all our holiday parks – Misty Waters Holiday Park, Ty Bont Caravan Park, The Oaks Touring Park and Maes Mynan Park.
We will continue to report on the Welsh Government’s stance on COVID-19 restrictions in our ‘News’ section to keep our holiday homeowners up to date with progress reports and dates when North Wales is open to everyone again. We will also progress reports on how our advocacy for our holiday homeowners is getting on with the local authority.
In the meantime, please stay safe and well. The Acorn Leisure Team are looking forward to seeing you all again soon and whilst you have been away, we have been busy maintaining the grounds, security and services to each holiday home pitch on all our Parks, ready for you to enjoy when the Welsh Government or local authority say you can return.