'Exciting times' at Butlin's as reopening date is revealed
Butlin's in West Sussex is looking forward to welcoming back more staff members and guests when the resort reopens in May.
Boris Johnson outlined a ‘roadmap’ for exiting lockdown on Monday which consisted of four stages with five key dates of when measures can be lifted at the earliest.
The Prime Minister said self-contained holiday accommodation in England will open for individuals or single-household groups from April 12, at the earliest.
However, sites with shared facilities will not reopen until at least May 17, coinciding with the reopening of pubs and restaurants indoors.
Jeremy Pardey, resort director at Butlin's in Bognor Regis, said: "Our proposed opening date is May 17. We will be following all the procedures that we were going to at Christmas.
"We are adding some further improvements to the resort to improve the experience."
As part of its plan to welcome back up to 4,500 guests this year, Butlin's has 'taken the opportunity' to remove its decades-old pool to create room for a new performance stage. See pictures of the demotion hereThe holiday resort has also submitted plans for a new reception kiosk and changes to the car park layout. Read more about the plans hereJeremy said: "The swimming pool has now completely gone so that's quite exciting.
"If we get the planning [permission] it will allow us to deliver an even better experience to our guests in relation to social distancing and space for them to be able to enjoy their time watching our shows.
"[We want to] make sure that we are up-to-date on Covid procedures and make sure we deliver the best customer service as we possibly can.
"We are also focusing on plans to re-train our team. Some have been away for nearly a year now. We've never brought all our staff back.
"We've been working at a lower capacity so it will be exciting to get that team back, spend time with them and train them.
"It will be important to recognise how they feel about coming back to work."
Jeremy said 'everyone wants to get back to normal' adding: "It's about remembering what we do well. It's exciting times going forward.
"A lot of bookings have been reported by the holiday firms and we've been no different.
"We're not short of bookings and it's about how we manage our capacity to deliver a Covid safe environment and a great holiday at the same time.
"We've managed to do that well before, and the guests told us they felt safe, so we feel very confident that we can do that again."