United Kingdom

Butlin's records four cases of Covid-19 among workers at one venue

Four Butlin's workers have tested positive for coronavirus at one resort as staff fear visitors are being put at risk while it stays open.

An employee at the Skegness resort in Lincolnshire, who wished to remain anonymous, said they feared the safety of staff was also under threat.

But a Butlin's spokesman said all venues have been subject to 'robust and frequent' cleaning routines.

An employee at the Skegness resort in Lincolnshire, who wished to remain anonymous, said they feared the safety of staff was also under threat (file photo)

History of Butlin's: Billy Butlin opens first site in Skegness in 1936 

Billy Butlin opened Butlin's first site in Skegness on 11 April 1936, which doubled in size in its first year. 

Two years later, a second camp opened in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex. 

Mr Butlin handed over his two camps to help with the war efforts in the 1940s, with Clacton becoming an army camp and Skegness HMS Royal Arthur.  He also had sites at Ayr, Pwllheli and Filey. 

He bought all the sites back after the war and opened indoor heated pools in the 1950s. 

In the 1970s, people started holidaying abroad more frequently, losing the specialness of the British seaside. 

'Holiday camps' faded and the Butlins sold the business to the Rank Organisation. 

Mr Butlin died in 1980 and Redcoats lined his funeral procession. 

Redcoats were brought in after families weren't mingling as Mr Butlin hoped in the first week. 

He ordered Norman Bradford, a senior engineer, to engage with the crowd and then go to buy a distinctive blazer. Mr Butlin decided red portrayed the cheerful holiday atmosphere he wanted. The Redcoats were born by the end of his first week in business.

They added: 'We can confirm that four team members have tested positive for coronavirus at our Skegness resort.

'We took immediate steps to isolate them upon symptoms being reported, in line with government guidance and our Covid safe protocols.

'We have fully complied with all the necessary NHS Test and protocol procedures and in line with track and trace requirements, we have also isolated a number of our team they could have come into contact with.

'We have had no further cases reported and the venues have been subject to robust and frequent cleaning routines.

'The safety and welfare of our team and guests is of the utmost importance to us and we'd like to reassure all guests that we have strict protocols covering hygiene, social distancing and PPE firmly in place to protect both our guests and team.'

Last month it emerged Butlin's had not told up to 1,000 furloughed staff if they would keep their jobs when the scheme ended in October.

The firm was operating at half of its usual capacity and had not made a decision about workers on the government's Job Retention Scheme.

A document sent to staff suggested employees would either take paid holiday - if they have any remaining - or unpaid leave, the BBC reported.

Before the furlough scheme was announced, Butlin's said 10,000 jobs were under threat with seasonal workers at risk of being laid off.

A Butlin's spokesman said last month: 'Our aim is to get all of our team back to work as soon as we can.

'We are working closely with UK Hospitality and the government to understand the implications of these constantly changing national circumstances, and as a result, we have made no decisions regarding the end of the furlough scheme.'

Butlin's was opened in 1936, when Billy Butlin bought a plot of land in Skegness to make a British seaside break accessible to all.

He wanted families to feel cared for while they were away and built a team - now known as Redcoats - to set the standard for providing brilliant service to guests.

Butlin's has three resorts located in the seaside towns of Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness.

They host entertainment and activities throughout the day to keep the whole family entertained, from workouts to live shows.

The Bognor Regis resort in West Sussex borders the South Downs National Park and has three hotels and a new family pool.

Minehead is the largest of the three and is on the hilly moors of Exmoor, Somerset while Skegness is next to the Blue Flag sandy beach.

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