WORK is underway as holiday parks prepare to reopen for the first time in Conwy and Denbighshire.

Following the latest statement from the Welsh Government, the visitor and tourism industry should be able to reopen this month if the spread of the virus continues to decline.

Ministers have said they will lift the requirement to stay local on Monday, July 6 should conditions allow, with holiday park owners in Towyn, Kinmel Bay, Abergele, Rhyl and Prestatyn able to welcome back guests on Monday 13.

However, after remaining shuttered for more than three months since March, the full extent of the damage to the tourist industry is yet to be assessed.

Rhyl Journal:

Sunnyvale general manager Aaron Scantlebury

Aaron Scantlebury, general manager of Sunnyvale Holiday Park in Kinmel Bay said: “We’ve had to furlough more than 20 members of staff, with roughly a quarter returning to help us get the park in a condition to reopen.

“We expect a further 50 percent to join us slowly and surely as we reopen, with roughly 75 percent of staff returning overall.

“We’ve lost a significant amount of income -we’d expect to sell £1million worth of luxury lodges and caravans - so I expect we’ll need another 12 months of trading to see the full impact.”

Despite the financial impact, the park was among those that pre-emptively closed before lockdown began on March 23.

Rhyl Journal:

Ty Mawr In Abergele. Picture: Google Street View

In Conwy a Denbighshire, a range of holiday parks followed suite, including national chains such as Parkdean Resorts’ Ty Mawr Holiday Park in Abergele and other, smaller businesses such as the Millers Cottage Caravan Club and Edwards Leisure Park in Towyn.

As Sunnyvale’s potential reopening date approaches, Mr Scantlebury has taken a similarly cautions approach to the pandemic.

He added: “It’s important to recognise that most of our park is people who have bought their holiday homes, who tend to be sensible and are demographic who spend in the local economy.

“However, we will be taking extra precautions.“All holiday makers will have to sign a declaration that hey agree to follow Welsh guidelines rather than English policy on lock down.

“In the event of a second peak, everyone must also return home and not stay in their holiday homes.

“We will also take the temperature of everybody entering the park, whether on foot or by car, and they must check in.

“We will know everyone who is on site, and in the event of an outbreak we will contact the two separate track and trace systems in England and Wales to monitor the spread of infection”

Rhyl Journal:

Social distancing markers at screens at the Marine

In Rhyl, Marine Holiday Park- which also pre-emptively closed - has taken similar precautionary measures, issuing a Captain’s Promise booklet to owners and guests outlining safety procedures including screens, staff PPE and social distancing markers.

However, unlike many of the parks it will not welcome holiday makers back until Friday, July 17.

Rio Williams, park manager, said: “We understand everyone in the community is going to be hesitant in welcoming a lot of people into North Wales, and we’re very conscious about our community, so we have taken the decision to not let our caravans out until July 17.

“Our owners invest in the community and our local economy, so we want to look after them too and make sure they’re comfortable with the changes before letting holiday guests in too.“As we reopen, we’re not just thinking as a business, we’re thinking as a family - putting the community and their safety first is non-negotiable, the alternative is not an option.”