Boris Johnson revealed the government’s roadmap out of lockdown yesterday, including information on when campsites and caravan parks are reopening later this year.
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 hoping to plan a staycation this year.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed a number of lockdown easing measures this week, including when kids will go back to school after lockdown and when the ‘rule of 6’ will be re-introduced to allow household mixing both outside and indoors.
Although we still can’t travel abroad during lockdown at the moment and it’s not safe to book an international holiday quite yet, British holidaymakers can look forward to UK self-catered staycations from the spring this year.
When are campsites and caravan parks reopening?
In light of England’s new roadmap out of lockdown, campsites and caravan parks can officially re-open from 12 April.
This is based on new guidelines from the government’s website which includes campsites where indoor facilities are not shared with other households when it mentions holiday lets under Step 2 of their lockdown easing plans.
“Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen,” the guidance states.
Step 2 is currently planned to go ahead “no earlier than 12 April” and this date may also be delayed if there is a resurgence of Covid cases.
In compliance with these guidelines, only families or those living in the same household are able to holiday together. Be that in a caravan, tent or any other form of self-catered accommodation. As per the conditions with self-catered accommodation – only one household is allowed in each caravan or holiday park apartment.
There’s further good news for campers outlined in Step 1 of Boris Johnson’s plan which comes into effect on Monday 29 March.
“Travel outside of local areas will be allowed, with ‘stay at home’ guidance scrapped,” their website states. This means that your household can enjoy a self-catered staycation further afield than your local area. However, you’ll have to stay in the UK for now as international travel is still banned unless for essential reasons.
A statement on the Camping and Caravanning Club website confirms that their club site network will re-open on 12 April in England, following the government’s roadmap guidance.
“England: Our earliest opening date will be the 12th of April. We are currently clarifying guidance but it is likely that as part of this opening phase we will not be able to open facility blocks. Campers will need to have their own self-contained toilet facilities, until the 17th of May at the earliest.
“If we are unable to open facilities until the 17th of May, then our Ready Camp Safari Tents and Pods will not open until this date, again at the earliest.”
The Caravan and Motorhome club announced a similar strategy – that their sites in England will re-open from 12 April. They are however “awaiting further clarification on the use of communal areas and shared facilities (including toilet blocks and showers) and will advise on this as soon as possible.”
The earliest opening dates for sites in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland currently differ from England.
The Camping and Caravanning Club has proposed a re-opening of Scottish sites no earlier than 26 April. In contrast, the Caravan and Motorhome club is hoping to honour pre-existing bookings between 5-25 April. They are however not accepting new bookings for this period – with new customers allowed to visit from 26 April onwards.
Dates differ again for sites in Wales – with The Caravan and Motorhome club “planning to reopen all our Club campsites in Wales from 29 March 2021, subject to the Government guidance and rules.”
The Camping and Caravanning Club instead hopes to re-open their Welsh campsites from 1 April.
With regard to Northern Ireland, both clubs have announced plans to re-open these sites from 1 April 2021.
Households should be able to visit campsites and caravan parks with people from other households from May 17th onwards.
However, whilst we can get excited for the target dates of April 12th and May 17th, these dates are only provisional. Lifting measures in Step 1 of Boris Johnson’s roadmap will have to be considered a success before Step 2 is implemented.
But for now the proposed date of April 12th for the initial reopening of campsites and caravan parks remains in place.
When will holiday parks Butlins, Pontins and Haven reopen?
Haven have confirmed that they will be re-opening their parks from 12 April 2021 but told GoodToKnow that they cannot confirm opening dates for their sites in Wales or Scotland just yet.
“Following the Government announcement yesterday with regards to the roadmap out of lockdown measures, we can confirm that our parks will remain closed in England until Monday 12 April. We are, however pleased that the roadmap has permitted self-contained accommodation to reopen at Stage Two and we look forward to welcoming many families to enjoy a coastal break that we pride ourselves on from the 12 April across our parks in England,” a spokesperson said.
”We cannot yet provide exact clarity for our reopening dates in Wales and Scotland, but will provide this to our guests as soon as we have confirmation from the respective Governments.”
Meanwhile, Butlins have announced they intend to re-open their parks from 17 May – the same date that the government hopes to lift all restrictions on international travel.
“Following the government announcement yesterday on the roadmap out of lockdown, we’re excited to announce that we plan to reopen our resorts on 17th May,” a statement on their website reads.
Anyone who previously booked a holiday with Butlins before this date is told to wait for an email with further information.
Pontins have similarly delayed their re-opening until 17th May.
Their website states: “Following the government’s recent announcement on the road map out of lockdown we are planning to reopen all our Parks from Monday 17th May 2021. We will keep making arrangements and working towards welcoming you back to our restaurants, bars and entertainment venues for our full Pontins Holiday experience.”
When will holiday homes open?
Self-contained accommodation like holiday homes and Airbnb sites can welcome visitors from the same household from 12 April 2021.
Until that date, holiday letting companies like Airbnb will continue to only allow key workers to stay in their properties in the UK.
Visitors from up to two different households will be able to stay together in holiday homes from mid-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.”