Coronavirus has kept the nation indoors for what seems like an eternity – particularly if you have kids!
As we head into the middle of summer, staycations look like the most feasible family holiday option. You’re probably desperate to dust off the tent and get camping again, after all, the Great British weather actually seems to be playing ball this year!
While life as a whole won’t be totally ‘normal’ for some time yet, progress is being made every week and things are looking up for campers across the UK.
PLEASE NOTE – all information is as given at the time of writing. Please refer to government guidance and check before you travel.
Can I go camping yet?
Great news! Campsites in England have been granted permission to open from 4th July, and Scotland is to follow on July 15th. However, as it stands, Wales is yet to announce the reopening of campsites and caravan parks.
As exciting as this news is, it’s worth remembering that all these plans are subject to change, depending on public health developments in relation to COVID-19. So plan for the best but be prepared for any changes.
What about wild camping?
Wild camping is a contentious (and confusing) matter at the best of times, but Coronavirus has actually stamped some clarity on it for the time being.
Current government guidelines state:
You and your household can head outdoors for your physical and mental well-being in England. But be respectful to local people and communities. You must adopt social distancing at all times. Then return to your primary home – no overnight stays, including second homes and holiday homes.
As campsites open in July, this guidance will likely change, but remember that there are specific rules on where and how you can wild camp in the UK. Do your research before you travel.
Will it be safe to go camping?
It’s hard to guarantee anything in the current situation, but health risks can certainly be avoided by taking the relevant precautions when camping. And as it is a predominantly outdoor activity, camping is likely to be safer than a lot of alternatives. Evidence suggests that the virus is far less likely to spread in open-air environments and it’s pretty easy to socially distance on a campsite.
But what about toilets and other campsite facilities?
The use of toilets and other campsite facilities is very much dependent on whether social distancing rules can be observed. We recommend that you check with your preferred campsite on what they are putting in place when they open before you book or travel.
Site management need to ensure regular and effective cleaning. If campsites do keep facilities open, it's likely that toilet and shower blocks will be used on rota systems and temporarily closed for deep cleaning during parts of the day. There have been no special limitation on shared spaces on campsites, so common sense and personal responsibility are important. If you have doubts, call ahead and enquire what measures the site is putting in place.
Shops and onsite catering premises will probably also be forced to operate differently for a while.
- Cleaning products and hand sanitiser being made available
- Self-check in/out
- Increased minimum spacing between pitches
- Staggered or ‘bookable’ shower times
Whatever rules are in place, it’s important to do everything you can to stay safe. If you have any concerns, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with campsite staff to ask about their specific plans.
Can I book a campsite now?
Yes! Following the latest changes to government guidelines, it’s likely that campsite bookings will surge, particularly while schools are still shut, so it's a good idea to book your trip as soon as possible.
We also recommend that you check booking terms and cancellation policies to make sure that you’re covered if circumstances change.
What about camping abroad?
Lots of European countries are opening for business, but quarantine policies are being updated weekly. We recommend checking the latest government guidance before booking or travelling abroad.
Although camping abroad will no doubt become a whole lot easier in the coming months, it’s perhaps best to stay in the UK for now.
Your next camping trip is closer than ever – make sure you’re ready by upgrading your gear today.