As the UK continues its roadmap out of lockdown, new measures on campsites and caravan parks reopening have been introduced.
After patiently complying with several government-imposed lockdowns since March 2020, including the UK’s current third lockdown, it seems that hope is finally on the horizon for those wanting a staycation this year.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed a number of new lockdown easing measures from 17th May, which saw a change to indoor and outdoor meet-ups, and new rules which allow family members to stay overnight.
And whilst guidance on booking an international holiday could be subject to change, UK self-catered staycations look set to stay a safe and steady option for the summer ahead. Just be sure to swat up on all the details before booking that long-overdue British family vacation…
When are campsites and caravan parks reopening?
Campsites and caravan parks officially re-opened on 12 April.
Guidelines on the government’s website stated that “self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households” was able to re-open on 12 April.
However, from 17th May onwards, British holidaymakers can camp as two households or in a group of up to six people (aka the rule of six).
In a statement on their website in May, the Camping and Caravanning Club confirmed that “all of our Club Sites are now open in England, Wales and Scotland with shared facilities including showers available”.
“We hope to reopen our shared facilities at our Club Site in Northern Ireland on the 24th May,” they added.
The Caravan and Motorhome club have similarly announced that all their campsites are open in England, Scotland and Wales. Where all shared facilities like toilet and shower blocks are open.
Their campsites in Northern Ireland are also open, but shared facilities remain closed until the next government review.
There’s further good news, with previous travel restrictions lifted from Monday 17th May onwards.
This means that campers can travel to sites in England, Scotland and Wales for their holidays. With holidays to Northern Ireland expected from 24th May onwards.
When will holiday parks Butlins, Pontins and Haven reopen?
Butlin’s and Pontins re-opened their holiday parks on Monday 17th May. Whilst Haven opened their doors a little earlier on 12 April 2021.
The decision was based on new government rules around holiday accommodation that came into effect on 17th May.
The government website states that after 17 May: “All holiday accommodation can open, including hotels and B&Bs. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).”
This means that in addition to holiday park, hotel and B&B re-openings, you can now holiday with other people (and not just your immediate household). So long as your trip adheres to the rule of six or doesn’t involve more than 2 households mixing.
Special safety measures have been put in place at popular Butlin’s venues like Bognor Regis, Skegness and Minehead. So that families can enjoy their breaks safe in the knowledge that covid protocols are being followed.
Customers will check-in via a socially distanced drive-thru. Whilst attractions at the park, like swimming pools, adventure golf and fairgrounds will be open but operate at a reduced capacity to prevent any spread of infection.
The popular holiday park brand has also announced a new Covid-safe entertainment venue called Studio 36.
According to Butlin’s blog: “The new venues will allow us to entertain even more guests, with 860 seats under COVID socially distanced guidelines.”
Pontins also re-opened their doors during the third week of May. “Following the government’s recent announcement, we can confirm all of our parks will open from Monday 17th May 2021. We are looking forward to welcoming you back very soon and thank you again for your continued support,” said a statement on their website.
Haven has confirmed that their holiday parks in England and Wales have re-opened with all facilities now open as normal.
Haven’s parks previously re-opened in April. Though government restrictions meant that families could not book touring or camping breaks with them until guidelines changed in May.
All of Haven’s holiday parks in Scotland have re-opened with the exception of Glasgow and Moray. These are two areas the Scottish government placed under Level 3 restrictions during the 17 May review.
Like England and Wales, there are limits on who you can holiday with. Rules state that accommodation is limited to 6 people or up to 3 households in Scotland.
Additionally, soft play centres at Scottish Haven parks remain closed. And there is a curfew on bars and restaurants, with outdoor hospitality venues shut from 10pm and indoor alcohol consumption finishing at 10:30pm.
When will holiday homes open?
Self-contained accommodation like holiday homes and Airbnb sites welcomed visitors from the same household from 12 April 2021.
Following the latest government review, holidaymakers are now able to visit Airbnbs with one other household or six people from 17th May onwards.
A spokesperson for Airbnb said: “The Great British staycation is on the horizon and hosts across the UK are ready to provide clean and private homes for families and loved ones to safely reconnect.
“The Government’s announcement is also welcome news for new and potential hosts looking to boost their earnings, as everyone looks forward to a brighter future.”
Before booking your stay it is recommended that you check the rental site’s for information on their COVID-19 and cancellation policy.
For example, Airbnb has coronavirus guidelines that they expect guests to comply with before travelling to their accommodation.
Their policy sets out that check in is prohibited if you are COVID-19 positive, are awaiting test results or are self-isolating with symptoms.
Guests are asked not to travel if they have “had close, sustained contact to an individual confirmed or suspected to be infected with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.”