HOLIDAY makers looking forward to their first break of the year have had their plans thrown into disarray by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Airlines are grounded flights, ferry services have stopped running, and now caravan parks are starting to close down, or offer reduced services.

But some caravanners are being offered the chance to cancel or rebook their planned holidays.

Akebar Park, between Bedale and Leyburn, in North Yorkshire, has announced it has temporarily closed its touring park until April 19.

A spokesman for the site said: “At Akebar Park we are closely monitoring the situation and following government advice related to coronavirus.

"As a duty of care and to minimise risk to other people, we have made the decision to temporarily close the touring park.

"This has not been an easy decision, and we hope our guests will understand. As a responsible business, our priority is the safety and welfare of all.

“Therefore we must reduce the risk to others where possible, especially when using the communal facilities.

"We will be contacting all customers over the next few days who have a booking with us during this period of temporary closure."

Haven, which has holiday parks across the country, has also closed its sites until mid-April.

A spokesman for the company said: "We know there are concerns about the current Coronavirus situation and how this affects your planned holiday at Haven.

"As we continue to reflect on the latest Government advice, and how it impacts the Haven experience we can offer, we have sadly taken the decision to temporarily close our parks to holidaymakers from 20 March to 16 April.

"We know how disappointing this will be for all those guests who are booked to stay with us during this time but every decision we make, we do to ensure the safety and security of our guests, owners and teams are our number one priority, during the unprecedented time we are in.

"This ever-changing situation is incredibly difficult for you as our holidaymakers, and for our teams.

"We are contacting everyone who has a break booked during this period, but we shall prioritise those who are booked to travel within the next seven days."

Not all caravan parks are closing completely, but many tourist attractions are shutting down and Government advice to deal with Covid-19 outbreak encourages people to practice ‘social distancing’.

The Caravan and Motorhome Club has said the vast majority of its sites are still open, however bars and restaurants on sites are being closed.

A statement from the organisation said: “We know that people may be concerned about Coronavirus (Covid-19), this is a fast-moving situation and we want to reassure you we’re carefully monitoring the reports of outbreaks of coronavirus in the UK, Europe and various countries around the world.

“We know that some members may wish to change their UK travel plans, and we totally understand.

“For UK bookings we recognise at the moment that members may need to amend a date or cancel a booking ‘last-minute’.

“Until further notice, the Club will waive restrictions for late amendment or cancellation prior to arrival, including within 72 hours of arrival.

“We’ve introduced a number of measures including increasing the rigour of cleaning and sanitising products and enhanced disinfecting of common surfaces across offices and campsites.

“In addition, we are introducing a number of social distancing practices at our sites, in order to support government guidelines.”

The Camping and Caravanning Club is also continuing to open site as usual, but bars and communal social area will be closed for the foreseeable future.

The group is being more flexible with visitors who need to change their plans.

A spokesman said: “With immediate effect to give our members the most flexibility we are allowing customers to amend their current UK Club Sites, Ready Camp and Camping in the Forest bookings to dates any time between now and the end of 2020 with no charge incurred.

“The booking can be moved to any site and can be amended unlimited times. If, however, you cancel your booking the standard cancellation policy applies.

“It's really important to us that if our members have taken the decision to stay with us that they feel comfortable on site.

“We will run campsites underoccupancy to allow bigger distances between pitches and we will not be able to accommodate social gatherings or meets.

“In line with Government advice, we have taken the decision to close any bars, social and communal areas on sites. For campsites with facility blocks, they will remain open.

“We all have to take sensible precautions following the latest Government health and travel advice.

“We are proud of the cleanliness of our campsites and have taken on additional cleaning protocols.

“We would ask that if you are on our campsites you follow the latest advice on hygiene and hand washing, and self-isolation at home for 14 days if you, or any of your party are displaying any symptoms.”