The Government has introduced a new 14-day quarantine period for people entering the UK, which has put many people off travelling even if airlines and restrictions allow it. In a boost for Brits, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said Government ministers have a “very ambitious plan” to get the UK’s tourism industry back on track as early as July.
When can we go camping again?
Lockdown measures in the UK are beginning to be eased as the peak of the virus has passed.
While people are able to leave their homes and travel for exercise, you are still not allowed to stay overnight somewhere other than your own home.
For now, campsites are still closed and it is still unsure exactly when they will reopen.
In July, campsites could be reopening across the country, giving Brits hopes of a summer holiday after all.
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Government advisors are looking at treating outdoor campsites differently to other hospitality sites due to the fact that they are outdoors.
Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said it is a “biological truism” that being outside is safer than being in an enclosed space with potential virus carriers.
The professor stressed the “complex dangers” of reopening campsites too soon but implied that the date could be revised after some “careful thought”.
Professor Van-Tam added: “Of course that will need some careful thinking about because sharing a tent in a small enclosed space or can be a small enclosed space with generally poor conditions of ventilation and I guess it depends who you are sharing it with.”
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Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Sky last month: “Having come from Suffolk down to London, I know there are a lot of campsites that are very keen for people to come.
“Some of this is being carefully considered, recognising that we have reduced outdoor transmission risk, that things like camping may well become suitable.”
Ms Coffey added that “later this year, potentially in July” could see them open, as long as infection rates continued to decrease.
Can I book now?
As it stands, yes you can begin to book a holiday. Many people are doing just that.
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Online campsite guide and reservation site, Cool Camping, reported an instant increase in bookings for July, August and September.
Cool Camping’s founder, Jonathan Knight said: “There does seem to be some pent-up demand for camping with consumers having waited for guidance that lockdown measures might be eased before booking.”
Consumers should continue to be wary of any Government changes to the lockdown plan which could see reopening dates pushed further back.
A number of campsites, holiday parks and other hospitality businesses, however, have now introduced coronavirus guarantees.
Coronavirus guarantees generally allow free transfer or cancellation of booking dates if restrictions are extended or reimposed. Be sure to check before booking.
How will camping be made safe?
Campsite operators have already started experimenting with ways in which to improve safety. The Government did issue some guidance for UK businesses, but there are still questions surrounding campsites.
Hygiene protocols will undoubtedly be made more stringent, with cleaning regimes to become more regular and thorough.
Marked queues for toilets also seem likely, and some campsites could even introduce timeslots or ticketing systems for showers and kitchens.
Visit Britain is now working with the UK Government to create an industry-wide quality mark that tourism businesses will be able to use to demonstrate their approved safety standards.
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