Huge demand for attractions and accommodation reopening in England on Monday

Outdoor attractions and self-catering accommodation providers in England are preparing for a rush of visitors when they reopen on Monday.

Jamie Christon, executive director of Chester Zoo, said it had been “in great demand” as most tickets for the coming days were sold out.

“When we move out of lockdown, people want to meet with friends and family,” he told the PA news agency.

“Chester Zoo is a fantastic place to do that. You can have a great day understanding and learning about conservation, and we are professional and big enough to make sure it is done in a safe and secure manner.

“I assume we will be busy. We want to open next Monday and stay open all year round.”

Mr Christon said it was “quite difficult” for the company during the pandemic, as it costs around £ 1.6 million to maintain the zoo, including caring for its 19,000 animals, each month.

“Although the gates have been closed to the public, life in the zoo goes on,” he said.

“We can’t take the animals off and we haven’t had any government support at all.”

Steve Jarvis, co-founder of the Independent Cottages website, which advertises around 1,800 self-catering properties, said around 80% of the websites will be fully booked in the next 14 days.

The “big appetite for British holidays” started earlier this year, he said.

The company recorded more than twice as many bookings in January and February as in the same period in 2020.

“It’s great to have that interest and confidence for people to book,” said Jarvis.

He added that while properties in popular tourist destinations of Cornwall and Devon are 95% booked, other areas are “rapidly catching up”.

He said, “People like to think about what they want to do instead of where they want to do it.

“If you want to take your bikes or the dog you locked up, there’s a ton of great scenery out there.”

Mr. Jarvis said that the common practice of organizing foreign holidays well in advance but leaving domestic breaks until the last minute has been “turned on its head”.

He said people have to plan their UK vacations much earlier than normal because “there aren’t enough cabins to walk around” while uncertainty about quarantine and testing rules discourages many people from going overseas engage.

Another vacation home company, Cottages.com, said two-thirds of its properties in coastal areas or with hot tubs are booked for the first week of reopening.

Feather Down, which offers luxury camping on farms across the UK, was “almost sold out” over the next several weeks. Summer bookings were more than double what they were at the same time in 2020.

In Wales, restrictions will be eased from Monday.

This includes the return of children to schools, all students after 16 years in continuing education centers and campuses reopening to mixed face-to-face and online learning.

All remaining non-essential retail and close contact services will reopen.

Travel restrictions on entering and leaving Wales are also to be lifted, but people cannot travel to countries outside the Common Travel area – the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland – without a proper apology.

From April 26th, outdoor attractions such as fairs and theme parks can reopen – the date has not changed.

Outdoor hospitality, including in cafes, pubs and restaurants, will resume from the same unchanged date.

As of Good Friday, the home stay order has been canceled across Scotland, allowing people to travel for non-essential local purposes.

Last Monday, hairdressers and hairdressers were reopened for pre-booked appointments, while clicking and collecting was permitted again and homewares shops and garden centers welcomed customers again.

In-person lessons and outdoor sports have also resumed for 12 to 17 year olds.

Scotland is currently on its way to further easing restrictions from April 26th and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will provide more details in the coming weeks.

Current plans are to open cafes, restaurants, shops and gyms, and allow more people to meet outdoors.

Libraries, museums and galleries, gyms and pools are also allowed to open.

Until April 1, up to six people from no more than two households in Northern Ireland were allowed to meet outside in a private garden.

Ten people from no more than two households can participate in outdoor sports.

The golf courses have reopened, although the clubhouses have to remain closed. Click-and-collect purchases in garden centers and nurseries are now allowed.

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