Pontins holiday parks to remain closed until 2021 due to coronavirus – The Sun

PONTINS holiday parks will stay closed until 2021 after shutting because of coronavirus.

The company closed its doors over two months ago, and hundreds of holidaymakers are now expected to apply for a refund.

Pontins closed its holiday parks nine weeks ago, and cancelled all holidays booked up to April 30.

But the company, which has six UK resorts, has now said it will be closed indefinitely.

A message on the Pontins website reads: “The health and safety of everyone visiting or working on our parks is our number one priority.

“Due to the current Covid-19 epidemic, our holiday parks are closed until further notice.

“We will respond to any email queries in due course.

“Best wishes during this difficult time and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2021.”


Other holiday resorts in the UK are hoping to start accepting bookings again in July.

Butlins has said they are “hopeful that we can open again in the not too distant future”, and has only cancelled holidays up to July 2.

Center Parcs, meanwhile, has said most of its UK villages will be closed until July 5, and Longford Forest until July 19.

For Brits eyeing a getaway, however, campsites could open up earlier.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Sky last week: “Having come from Suffolk down to London, I know there are a lot of campsites that are very keen for people to come.

“Some of this is being carefully considered, recognising that we have reduced outdoor transmission risk, that things like camping may well become suitable.”

Ms Coffey added that campsites could open “later this year, potentially in July”, if infections rates continue to decrease.

The government has said that outdoor spaces could reopen earlier than indoor spaces because there is less chance of the virus spreading.

At the May 14 government briefing, deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said it was a “biological truism” that being outdoors is safer than being in an enclosed space.

He stressed the “complex” dangers of reopening campsites too soon but implied that the date could be revised after some “careful thought”.

He added: “Of course that will need some careful thinking about because sharing a tent is a small enclosed space or can be a small enclosed space with generally poor conditions of ventilation and I guess it depends who you are sharing it with.”

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Aldi May bank holiday opening times – here's what time stores open on Monday

ALDI stores across the UK will remain open during this bank holiday weekend, but shoppers should expect slightly different opening hours.

We explain all you need to know if you need to pick up some essentials at the discounter.

What time is Aldi open over the bank holiday weekend?

Aldi hasn't yet confirmed its opening hours for this bank holiday weekend, but we expect them to be similar to the last bank holiday on May 8.

At the time, the stores were open from 8am to 8pm on the bank holiday Friday, so we reckon they'll be the same this Monday, May 25.

Its shops were then open from 8am till 10pm on Saturday, and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

Aldi usually opens half an hour early for vulnerable and elderly customers Monday to Saturday and this also applied during the bank holiday.

Closing times can vary from shop to shop though, so it's always important to check your local branch.

You can do this by using the store finder on Aldi's website.

On April 14, Aldi extended its opening hours so shoppers can nab groceries until 10pm Monday to Saturday during normal weeks.

Does Aldi offer online delivery?

Yes, Aldi’s online delivery service is currently running as normal, although it only sells non-food items on its website.

Due to increased demand, the timeframe for deliveries has also been delayed in some areas so make sure you double-check this in advance.

A standard delivery is free for orders over £20 and costs from £2.95 for orders under £20.

When are the bank holiday dates for 2020?

Here is the full list of upcoming 2020 bank holidays in England and Wales.

Dates in Scotland and Northern Ireland vary.

  • Monday, August 31 (Summer Bank Holiday)
  • Friday, December 25 (Christmas Day)
  • Monday, December 28 (substitute Boxing Day)

Several shops are reopening branches for the bank holiday including Furniture Village, Poundland, and Ikea.

Changes to pubs and restaurants have also been announced, in preparation for them to reopen.

While fast food chains, including McDonald's have also started reopening.

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Are you still entitled to holiday while on furlough and how does it affect your pay?

IF you have been furloughed by your employer, you can have 80 per cent of your wages, up to £2,500 a month, paid for by the government.

But there are other benefits linked to your job that you might not know whether you can still receive.

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One of these is taking a holiday and getting paid for the time you're on leave.

What happens if you want to take leave during the time when you are furloughed?

And does it affect your furlough payments?

Here is everything we know.

What is my normal holiday allowance?

Almost all full-time workers, including zero-hour contract workers and those on irregular hours contracts, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year. 

The exception to this is if you are self-employed.

Under government rules, a worker has the same holiday entitlement, regardless of whether they are on sick leave, maternity leave, parental leave and adoption leave, and other types of statutory leave. 

Do I still accrue holiday leave if I’ve been furloughed?

Workers who have been placed on furlough continue to accrue their statutory holiday entitlements, and any additional holiday provided under their normal employment contract.

That means your holiday entitlement remains unchanged if you have been furloughed.

Will taking a holiday affect my furlough pay?

Workers on furlough can take holiday as normal.

If a worker on furlough takes annual leave, an employer must calculate and pay the correct holiday pay in accordance with current legislation – just like any other time.

But if this rate is higher than the pay the worker receives while on furlough, your employer must pay the difference so you don’t miss out on what you would have normally received.

However, as taking holiday does not break the furlough period, your employer can continue to claim the 80 per cent grant from the government to cover most of the cost of holiday pay.

If due to the impact of coronavirus on operations your employer is unable to fund the difference, you might be allowed to carry your annual leave into next year.

If this happens, you must still be given the opportunity to take your annual leave, at the correct holiday pay, within two leave years.


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Can I be forced to take holiday by my employer during this time?

The normal rules for employers requiring a worker to take leave or to refuse a request for leave continue to apply.

So if your employer asks you to take leave, or says you can’t, they should explain why.

But if your boss requires you to take holiday while on furlough, the government says they should consider whether any restrictions you are under, such as the need to socially distance or self-isolate, would prevent you from resting, relaxing and enjoying leisure time.

What about bank holidays?

Where a bank holiday falls inside a worker’s period of furlough and the worker would have usually worked the bank holiday, their furlough will be unaffected by the bank holiday.

However, if the worker would usually have had the bank holiday as annual leave, there are two options.

Either you can take the bank holiday as annual leave while on furlough, and you will get paid for it as normal.

Or if you are not allowed to take the bank holiday off, you should receive another day off at a later date so you still receive your full holiday allowance for the year.

You can find all the government guidance on taking holidays during a furlough period here.

Last week the government announced the furlough scheme would be extended until October.

Here's what you need to know about employers taking you off furlough without notice.

And here's how to get help if you're self-employed.

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May Day 2020 bank holiday: Why is it on a Friday this year? – The Sun

THE three day May bank holiday starts on Friday 8 to Sunday May 10, marking the second time the date has been shifted in history.

But why is it being moved from its traditional spot on the first Monday of the month?

When is the May Day bank holiday in 2020?

Normally the early May bank holiday falls on the first Monday of May.

But in 2020 it won't be on May 4, it will be on Friday, May 8.

The Government announced the change of date in June to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The day has only been moved once before, in 1995, to mark the 50th anniversary of VE Day.

What is VE Day?

VE Day stands for Victory in Europe Day which took place on Tuesday, May 8, 1945.

It was the day on which allied forces announced the surrender of Germany in Europe.

It marked the end of Adolf Hitler’s war and sparked celebrations around the world.

The day before at 2.41pm on May 7, 1945, Germany had surrendered.

Hitler had committed suicide a week earlier leaving Grand Admiral Donitz of the German army to admit defeat.

The Normandy landings in June 1944 had proved instrumental in achieving victory for the allies, as had the huge eastern offensives of the USSR.

Six years of war that had cost the lives of millions had finally come to a close.

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European holiday resorts could open with 'tourist corridors'

European holiday resorts could open with ‘tourist corridors’ set up to protect holidaymakers and the countries they visit from coronavirus

  • Countries including France, Italy and Greece and Spain are calling for measures
  • They warned the industry faces collapse if something is not done soon
  • Malta tourism minister, Julia Farrugia Portelli, called for ‘safe corridors between territories and regions’ 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

European travel chiefs are calling for the creation of ‘tourism corridors’ so holiday resorts can re-open in time for summer.

Ministers from nine countries, including France, Italy, Greece and Spain, wrote to European Union chiefs on Tuesday warning the industry faces collapse if special measures are not rolled out soon.

Ideas under discussion include an EU-wide set of rules and protocols for tourist arrivals and departures which one minister described as a ‘Covid-19 passport.’ 

European travel chiefs are calling for the creation of ‘tourism corridors’ so holiday resorts can re-open in time for summer. Pictured: The Cote d’Azur in France

Several EU countries are mulling how to allow holiday resorts to reopen, but want Brussels to draw up a bloc-wide blueprint in a bid to avoid a chaotic patchwork of bi-lateral agreements creating confusion for travellers.

The call last night boosted hopes that Britons may still be able to book breaks to popular destinations on the continent this summer.

Malta’s tourism minister, Julia Farrugia Portelli, called for ‘safe corridors between territories and regions’, which could include ‘clear new protocols on flying, accommodating, interacting, dining and visiting’.

She added: ‘We need to commit ourselves to reopening as soon as possible. There are risks, but we need to manage risks.

‘Too much is at stake to simply lie inactive, until relief arrives, in the form of a [coronavirus] vaccine. We cannot go down that road.’ 

It is understood the measures could include passengers being subject to temperature checks and pre-flight blood tests.

But Brussels is unlikely to unveil any concrete plans before next week. It is unclear whether some countries could be exlcuded if it is felt their coronavirus situation is not under control.

In their joint letter, EU ministers called for the bloc to ensure credit lines are available to airlines to keep flights airborne as restrictions ease.

‘We must facilitate access to liquidity to airlines,’ they wrote.

During a videoconference of EU tourism ministers on Monday, Croatia’s minister, Gari Cappelli, said ‘something in the form of a COVID-19 passport’ valid in all member states could be created.

Ministers from nine countries, including France, Italy, Greece and Spain, wrote to European Union chiefs yesterday warning the industry faces collapse if special measures are not rolled out soon. Pictured: A beach in Palma, Majorca

Greece’s tourism minister, Harry Theoharis, said: ‘We have to have new rules for hotels, new rules for beaches, new rules for pools, new rules for breakfast buffets, new rules for tour buses.’ 

Yesterday Austria’s tourism minister announced hotels will be allowed to re-open from May 29, along with swimming pools.

Although Britain left the EU on January 31, any new travel rules could include the UK because it remains in the single market until the Brexit transition period expires at the end of this year.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen raised hopes for the industry earlier this month by saying that ‘smart solutions to have a summer vacation’ may yet be found.

This could include sunbathing in big plexiglass boxes set up on beaches to ensure sun-seekers are isolated from each other.

Tourism accounts for around 10 per cent of the bloc’s GDP and employs around 22.6 million people – more than 11 per cent of total employment. 

However, the OECD estimates the sector could see a 70 per cent decline this year.

A European Commission spokesman yesterday said: ‘We will be coming forward with guidelines on how to increase connectivity in the European Union, lift border control measures and ensure freedom of movement.’ 

When asked if this was intended for this summer, the spokesman quipped: ‘Well I very well hope so because I have the firm intention of going on holiday at some stage as I’m sure you have, so yes we’re working towards this year, not next year.’

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