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Covid Travel Restrictions Spark Furious Debate About 'Expensive' Center Parcs

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Covid Travel Restrictions Spark Furious Debate About 'Expensive' Center Parcs

There have certainly been mixed feelings surrounding the Covid-19 travel restrictions, which mean that Brits can't yet legally travel between countries for leisure.

While many understand the importance of these rules to stop dangerous variants entering the country, and to avoid mutations which could evade vaccine protection, there are others who have just about had enough of the ban on holidays - and those nay sayers have been making their voices heard in recent weeks.

However, another debate occurred within all the uproar, after one Twitter user claimed he'd had enough of all the moaning, suggesting that foreign holidays were for the rich, and explaining that they spent their childhood going to Center Parcs and Butlins instead.

"Brits upset they might not get a holiday abroad this summer. As a kid we never went on a plane," he wrote.

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"[Center] Parcs, Butlins and the caravan in Yarmouth & Meopham. If you left the U.K your folks were either rich, on the game, owned a house or had relatives in that country. Get a grip".

This tweet caused a debate about Center Parcs' pricing (Credit: Twitter)
This tweet caused a debate about Center Parcs' pricing (Credit: Twitter)

But in the comments, people said the critic seemed to have lost sight of just how expensive UK holidays like Center Parcs really were, with the holiday facility even beginning to trend on Twitter (ahem, wrongly spelt Centre Parcs) as a result...

Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter
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Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter
Credit: Twitter

"Mate it costs more to go to Center parcs than to Spain," wrote one woman in reply to the Twitter thread.

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Meanwhile, another agreed: "Only once took the kids to Butlins and it was for five days, It was an eye opener how much money you can go through. At one point, about three days in I thought my budget would run out. So much easier to budget on a foreign holiday."

A third chipped in: "Danny, I think people complaining they can't go abroad this summer are lame too but CENTER PARCS!? I went once when I was 5 and again when I was 33 and both times were in the first week of January when it's empty and it's a third of the usual price. It's a FORTUNE normally."

As a fellow Twitter user concurred: "Centre Parcs? Luxury! Although we did go abroad, by ferry/hovercraft to the continent (France, Germany, Holland, Denmark etc) camping".

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"[As] someone who went to plenty of Pontins and Butlins, you're not 'rich' if you could go abroad for holiday. Centre Parcs is way more middle class than Benidorm. In any case, gatekeeping who's rich or not on whether they could afford £400 to go to Spain is laughable," a fifth argued.

Center Parcs offer plush woodland lodges (Credit: Center Parcs UK Instagram/ Center Parcs Website)
Center Parcs offer plush woodland lodges (Credit: Center Parcs UK Instagram/ Center Parcs Website)

A quick browse on the Center Parcs and Butlins websites proves they may have a point. A three night stay in a lodge in Center Parcs in April or May starts at £449, depending on the location.

While Butlins was a little cheaper, with some rooms costing just under £300, there is definitely still an argument that the trip wouldn't be much less than the price of a cheap European holiday, especially once food, drink and entertainment is also factored in.

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As the backlash raged on, the Twitter user clarified his position in the comments, explaining: "It wasn't presented as a cheap option. When we went in 92 it was.

"Of course it's not now. But the point of the message was perspective. My mum and I shared a chalet with another family of 4, not Greece, but did us fine."

Center Parcs pricing aside, many did agree with the point of the tweet, and it also sparked a conversation also about the 'privilege' surrounding holidays more generally.

Many argued holidaying was a privilege (Credit: Unsplash)
Many argued holidaying was a privilege (Credit: Unsplash)

"Any kind of holiday is a privilege, not a right, as far as I'm concerned," one person wrote back. "Time off from work is an entitlement, what you do with that rest time is a choice dependant on a variety of things.

"But if all someone has to worry about is not getting a foreign holiday they are very lucky".

As another agreed: "Never been on holiday as a kid, we were poor. A day at coast or park, was what I got. I would be more upset if any of my friends and family died because of this virus, a holiday is [furthest] from my mind. I'm happy to wait and enjoy once able too safely."

It comes as government recently announced £5000 fines for people attempting to travel while it is still illegal from Monday, should they not have a 'reasonable excuse'.

Reasonable excuses include work, education or medical treatments, while holidaying will be outlawed.

Further discussions about whether holidays will be permitted are expected as we move further down the lockdown roadmap, to avoid the worst effects of the third Covid wave we are currently seeing across Europe.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/ Shutterstock

Topics: Coronavirus, travel, Covid-19

Joanna Freedman
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