As the weather begins to warm up, thoughts are inevitably turning to whether we'll all be able to enjoy a summer break this year.
While the coronavirus outbreak means that travel abroad seems highly unlikely, with the recent easing of the government guidelines for lockdown, you may be questioning if UK breaks will be allowed at any point this year.
In the last few weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has explained that visits to the beach and countryside are now allowed.
So will we soon be able to stay overnight at these picturesque locations, at local campsites and caravan parks?
At the moment, staying overnight away from your home is strictly out of bounds. This means that campsites and caravan parks – which are normally ideal for affordable family breaks – have been closed since 23rd March.
So according to latest guidance, when are caravan parks reopening? And, when will campsites reopen?
When might campsites and caravan parks reopen?
Campsites and caravan parks have not yet reopened, and it looks as though there are no plans for them to open this month (June).
The hospitality and leisure industries are not actually mentioned in the ‘road-map’ out of lockdown, until the third phase, which would mean that the government would not considering opening these kind of businesses until 4th July at the earliest.
When will campsites reopen?
Many have assumed that campsites may be eligible for an earlier, phased reopening, given that they are largely outside, and you may generally only camp with members of your household. After all, the government has now permitted unlimited outdoor exercise, leaving many questioning whether pitching a tent (all whilst keeping a social distance), may soon be allowed too.
And it appears that this is correct, as the Camping and Motorhome Club have confirmed they plan to reopen from the 4th July.
They said, “At the moment this applies to our sites in England and Scotland only. The timescales for reopening our Club sites in Wales and Northern Ireland will be published once we have guidance from their administrations.”
However, some have urged that these reopening plans are being put in jeopardy, following a lack of clear advice from the government on how to keep visitors safe at campsites – such as what can and can’t reopen at these sites.
Martin Smith, of Campsites.co.uk, told the Daily Mail, that there is uncertainty at campsites over how to properly implement social distancing, safety and hygiene measures at their very specific sites.
He said, “Campsite owners don’t know if shower facilities are safe to open and what provisions they must put in place to protect their customers. They need clear and definitive Government advice to open safely this summer.
“Early warning of any restrictions and policies will really be essential. That’s really the key to whether the staycation boom actually happens or not.”
When are caravan parks reopening? When will holiday parks Butlins, Pontins and Haven reopen?
Various caravan parks across the UK have revealed that they will not reopen until July at the earliest.
Pontins have actually confirmed their intention – at the moment – to reopen from 6th July.
In a recent statement on their Facebook page, they said, “Pontins Holiday Parks are re-opening from 6th July 2020 in line with current government advice.”
However, they explained that there would be some limitations. “At this time we can only offer self-catered breaks. Following government guidelines there will be no entertainment and the activities on park will be limited as social distancing guidelines must be adhered to,” they said.
In fact, you can book a summer 2020 break with Pontins here – they offer a range of solid cancellation and re-booking options if things change.
Haven have confirmed that they will be closed until at least 5th July.
They said, “Our parks will remain closed until Sunday, July 5. This, we’re sure you understand is totally beyond our control and we are really sorry for the disappointment caused to anyone who was looking forward to their coastal break.”
Butlin’s have also recently announced on their social media feeds that they will be closed until the 16th July – a little later than the others.
They have said, “Following on from the latest Government announcements, we’re now working through what the proposed plans mean for Butlin’s.
“We’re hopeful that we can open again in the not too distant future but in the meantime, we’re extending the closure of our resorts until the 16th July.”
Dependant on government rules, it appears than that caravan parks will not be available for stays until early July, then.
When will holiday homes open?
Holiday homes offered from the likes of Airbnb, and similar holiday rental sites have not yet confirmed when they will be officially reopening their properties to the wider public.
Since the pandemic began, in the UK, Airbnb have only allowed key workers to stay in their properties for work needs.
There’s a chance holiday home rentals like these could begin to reopen on 4th July in the UK, like some other hospitality businesses. But as yet, the exact date remains uncertain.
When it comes to second homes, visits have so far been prohibited. And it seems that is continuing for the time being. The government website, updated just days ago, states that “Leaving your home – the place you live – to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes.”
As such, it is uncertain when visits to holiday homes will be allowed again.