BUTLIN'S is reopening from Monday, as travel restrictions are eased even further.
From May 17, indoor attractions and shows can go ahead, as well as group holidays – either six people or two households – and hotel bookings.
Butlin's guests can also return from Monday, with the holiday parks reopening in time for the half term with everything opening.
However, families can expect a number of new changes and restrictions due to Covid – Sun Online Travel spoke to Butlin's Managing Director Jon Hendry Pickup about what is in place for guests this summer.
He said: "Guests will still get the full-on family entertainment experience they would expect from Butlin's but there are a few things we have adapted and amended this time round.
"We have a fully bookable experience which we didn't have before. Now we have updated this with the app so guests can start booking a few weeks before they arrive to maximise what they are able to do there."
He added that tens of thousands are already prebooking their holiday plans, saying: "Whatever they can do on their break, they can do in their app."
"Guests will see a mixture of new things from us to what they can expect around the rest of the UK."
However, he said they are trying to manage to avoid a "formed fun experience" to allow people to change, cancel and make last-minute bookings.
There is still availability from May 17, although the summer is already very busy due to demand as well as bookings from 2020 being moved to this year.
His advice for first time Butlin's guests? "Download the app, book in and be ready for full on fun."
Here are the new rules in place for guests heading to Butlin's this year.
Check in and dining
He said: "Guests will now check in via a drive-through instead of physically checking in, which is quicker and safer."
All restaurants and cafes will be opening, but guests will have to pre-book tables.
He continued: "For restaurants it will be table service and guests can order from the table with their app, while maintaining social distancing for queuing."
He said the mask rules are the same as the government guidance: "If you are indoors, you will be wearing one.
"If you are walking across the restaurant you wear one but when you are sat down you don't have to."
Swimming pools and entertainment
Families will have to pre-book slots to use the swimming pools, using the Butlin's app.
However, the indoor water parks and slides will be open, along with the lazy rivers and rides.
A one-way system will be in place, and there will be restrictions on capacity at first to help guests social distance.
Also opening from Monday are the fairgrounds, bowling alleys and go-kart tracks.
Shows and live performances
The three resorts – Bognor Regis, Skegness and Minehead – have all had an update with a brand new 900-seat indoor entertainment venue for the live shows, even with social distancing.
Jon said: "The venues are fully air conditioned or heated, with a fully immersive audio-visual set up.
"When you are moving around you will have to wear a face mask, but not when you sit down.
"You won't be walking to the bar as you will order food and drink direct to the table from the app."
Butlin's has also launched a range of new shows this summer too.
Their popular evening shows will include names such as X-Factor’s Fleur East and Max & Harvey, along with a new ‘The Diversity Games’ show featuring the famous street dance troupe.
Younger guests can watch Peppa Pig and her brother George on stage in another new mini-show, along with a live ‘Thomas’ Race Day’ show for Thomas The Tank Engine fans.
Families who want to book a trip to Butlin's are also covered by their new Butlin's Promise.
This includes "no-quibble refunds" if the trip has to be cancelled due to government restrictions or you no longer feel safe to visit, as well as free date changes three days before travelling and £10 deposits.
Off-peak breaks start from £155 while peak season breaks start from £275, and you can already book in breaks for Christmas and February 2022 half term.
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