Hotels, B&Bs, caravan parks ordered to close - but what are exceptions?
PUBLISHED: 14:57 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:57 25 March 2020
Hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites, boarding houses, campsites and caravan parks have been ordered to close in an effort to slow the transmission of the coronavirus.
The move comes amid fears people could be spreading the virus by leaving their city homes and heading to smaller communities - including Norfolk’s popular seaside resorts and rural getaways.
But the government has made some exceptions to the rule in order to cater for those in need.
Duncan Baker, North Norfolk’s MP, welcomed the move, saying: “The government has asked them to close because that will stop the numbers of people coming here and bringing the virus.
“If people had stayed in their primary locations this wouldn’t have happened.
“Our doctor surgeries are already stretched, and this is going to put too much pressure on our service.”
Sarah Butikofer, North Norfolk District Council leader, said on March 24 people were still checking into holiday cottages along the coast. The council then closed Cromer Pier to encourage would-be holidaymakers to stay away.
It followed a sunny weekend which saw thousands of people flock to the coastal towns and ignore the message to avoid gatherings and practice social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus.
Karolina Fox, manager of Cromer’s Hotel de Paris, said the move was unfortunate, but necessary to protect guests and staff.
She said: “We’ll reopen as soon as it’s safe but that’s based on what’s going to be happening in the country and what other decisions will be taken by the government. We’ll just play it day by day and week by week but people’s wellbeing and safety is the most important thing at the moment.”
Among the many other businesses affected is The Harper - a new hotel in Langham which was to open its doors on April 1, but now hopes to open in early summer.
A spokesman from that venue said: “The health and safety of the hotel’s guests and staff is always paramount, so with this in mind - and after conversations internally and with the suppliers - the Harper is confident that this is the right course of action.”
According to the new rules, venues which are allowed to stay open are those:
-Where people live in these as interim abodes whilst their primary residence is unavailable.
-Key workers, permanent residents, and non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence during this period can continue to stay in hotels or similar where required.
-People who are unable to move into a new home due to the current restrictions can also stay at hotels.
-Where hotels, hostels, and B&Bs are providing rooms to support homeless and other vulnerable people such as those who cannot safely stay in their home, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies, they may remain open.
Hotels are also allowed to host blood donation sessions.