Campsites reopen as millions of lockdown-weary Britons plan summer ‘staycation’ breaks


Campsites in England and Wales have reopened as lockdown-weary Britons begin planning their summer staycation breaks.  

On the day which saw the country covered in flurries of snow as temperatures plummeted below freezing, camping holidays are among the only options for those keen to get away. 

England has finally eased its lockdown restrictions and given Brits a taste of freedom as non-essential shops have reopened while pubs and restaurants unlock the gates to their outdoor seating areas.   

And those who are desperate to go on a mini break are in luck, as long as they don’t mind braving the chilly climate. 

In England holidays are permitted but only for those who are able to find self-contained accommodation and only for members of their own household or support bubble. 

The same goes for Wales but the tourism industry in Scotland will remain closed until April 26 and travel to and from the country is still prohibited without a reasonable excuse. 

On a day which saw the country covered in flurries of snow as temperatures plummeted below freezing, camping holidays may be the only option for those keen to get away. Pictured: Campsite in Yorkshire

Booking site Pitchup.com shows 361 campsites which are open in England from today with prices starting from just £5 per stay. Pictured: Caravan park in Primrose Valley in East Yorkshire

Booking site Pitchup.com shows 361 campsites which are open in England from today with prices starting from just £5 per stay. Pictured: Caravan park in Primrose Valley in East Yorkshire

Booking site Pitchup.com shows 361 campsites which are open in England from today with prices starting from just £5 per stay. 

Where CAN you go on holiday?  

ENGLAND : Holidays in England are allowed for those who are able to find self-contained accommodation and only for members of their own household or support bubble.

Campsites and caravan parks can reopen from today as long as the only shared facilities are washing areas, toilets, water points and waste disposal points.  

Hotel stays are also permitted as long as the room has an en-suite bathroom and the hotel provides a room service option. 

WALES : Anyone from the UK is now able to travel freely in and out of Wales and mini breaks are allowed as long as travellers stay in self-contained accommodation with members of their own household or support bubble.  

This means that caravan parks and camping sites have reopened, but only for those who do not need to use public facilities.  

Those who prefer the great indoors are likely to use accommodation booking services like Airbnb which allow them to rent an entire flat or home for the duration of their trip. 

Hotel stays are also permitted as long as the room has an en-suite bathroom and the hotel provides a room service option. 

SCOTLAND: The tourism industry in Scotland will remain closed until April 26 and travel to and from the country is still prohibited without a reasonable excuse.

It follows a surge in ‘glamping’ bookings at the end of February which saw the website take a booking every seven seconds in one 24-hour stint.  

Self-contained accommodation means that the residence has its own bathroom, kitchen and sleeping facilities that would not have to be shared with anyone from another household. 

Campsites and caravan parks can reopen from today as long as the only shared facilities are washing areas, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. 

However, some campsites are instead choosing to only allow for self-sufficient campers to use their sites to remove any potential confusion.  

The British Caravanners Club states on its website: ’12 April: This will be our earliest opening date for sites in England. It is likely that we will not be able to open facility blocks, so we will only be able to welcome self-sufficient campers.’ 

Camping toilets, pop-up tents with potty-like commodes that sell for as little as £20, are becoming more desirable. Certain models are being viewed 66 times a day on eBay.  

Hotels and B&Bs are set to open for holidaymakers in England on 17 May at the earliest. 

But no more than six people or two households will be able to stay together indoors. 

The earliest that all restrictions on mixing could be lifted is June 21.    

Anyone from the UK is now able to travel freely in and out of Wales and mini breaks are allowed as long as people stay in self-contained accommodation with members of their own household or support bubble.  

This means that caravan parks and camping sites have reopened, but only for those who do not need to use public facilities.  

And those who prefer the great indoors are likely to use accommodation booking services like Airbnb which allow them to rent an entire flat or home for the duration of their trip. 

Hotel stays are also permitted as long as the room has an en-suite bathroom and the hotel provides a room service option.  

In England holidays are permitted but only for those who are able to find self-contained accommodation and only for members of their own household or support bubble. Pictured: Glamping site at Manor Farm in Alton

In England holidays are permitted but only for those who are able to find self-contained accommodation and only for members of their own household or support bubble. Pictured: Glamping site at Manor Farm in Alton 

Self-contained accommodation means that the residence has its own bathroom, kitchen and sleeping facilities that would not have to be shared with anyone from another household. Pictured: Cool Camping sites

Self-contained accommodation means that the residence has its own bathroom, kitchen and sleeping facilities that would not have to be shared with anyone from another household. Pictured: Cool Camping sites

Shared facilities in Wales will reopen on May 17.    

The tourism industry in Scotland will remain closed until April 26 and travel to and from the country is still prohibited without a reasonable excuse.

Camping toilets: Pop-up tents with potty-like commodes 

Campsites and caravan parks in England can reopen from today as long as the only shared facilities are washing areas, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. 

And these amenities must be operated in a way which doesn’t allow for any household mixing. 

However, some campsites are instead choosing to only allow for self-sufficient campers to use their sites to remove any potential confusion.  

The British Caravanners Club states on its website: ’12 April: This will be our earliest opening date for sites in England. It is likely that we will not be able to open facility blocks, so we will only be able to welcome self-sufficient campers.’ 

Camping toilets, pop-up tents with potty-like commodes that sell for as little as £20, are becoming more desirable. Certain models are being viewed 66 times a day on eBay.  

And within the country residents must stay within their local area or risk breaking the law.   

All holiday accommodation remains closed to tourism which means hotels, B&Bs and self-catering can only open for essential customers only. 

There are no firm plans on reopening to the rest of the UK yet, but it is believed that it may happen on April 26 or shortly after. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she hoped travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK would resume around the same time. 

International visitors will not be able to come to Scotland until at least May 17. 

While UK resort locations are witnessing an unprecedented boom in summer bookings, data from hotel technology provider Avvio reveals that bookings at major city hotels are down more than 80 per cent when compared to a couple of years ago. 

Avvio’s chief commercial officer, Michael De Jongh, said: ‘There’s virtually no international tourism in the UK right now and that’s hitting city hotels hard. 

‘On the whole people really don’t want to spend their summer staycation in a UK city, which means the current boom is almost exclusively around resort locations.’  

Most accommodation and holiday booking services have opted for flexible policies which will allow holidaymakers to cancel their trips if coronavirus restrictions dash their plans. 

UK watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority, has suggested that customers should usually get their money back in such circumstances. 

It added that this would be the case for a business which cancels a booking or can’t provide its service because of lockdown laws. 

If a customer cancels a holiday because of government guidance then the watchdog advises they should not be forced to pay ‘disproportionately high’ charges.   

Camping toilets, pop-up tents with potty-like commodes that sell for as little as £20, are becoming more desirable

Pictured: A portable camping shower

Camping toilets, pop-up tents with potty-like commodes that sell for as little as £20, are becoming more desirable. Certain models are being viewed 66 times a day on eBay

Campsites and caravan parks can reopen from today as long as the only shared facilities are washing areas, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. Pictured: Luxury holiday retreat in Dorset

Campsites and caravan parks can reopen from today as long as the only shared facilities are washing areas, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. Pictured: Luxury holiday retreat in Dorset

The British Caravanners Club states on its website: '12 April: This will be our earliest opening date for sites in England. It is likely that we will not be able to open facility blocks, so we will only be able to welcome self-sufficient campers.' Pictured: A Cool Camping site

The British Caravanners Club states on its website: ’12 April: This will be our earliest opening date for sites in England. It is likely that we will not be able to open facility blocks, so we will only be able to welcome self-sufficient campers.’ Pictured: A Cool Camping site 

If a holiday booking service or provider refuses to pay a refund and the customer paid with a credit card they may be able to claim the money back under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act for services not supplied.  

In November, holiday firms were accused of illegally withholding £1billion in refunds to families whose holidays were cancelled due to the pandemic over the past year.

Around 9.4million people have lost a trip since coronavirus hit the UK and many of the firms involved delayed giving refunds or even tried to fob people off with vouchers or the option to re-book, say consumer experts Which?

The road map to recovery

The road map to recovery

After the criticism, many companies have cleaned up their acts and now offer more reasonable refund terms. 

However, the risk still remains, especially with the threat of further lockdowns if new variants emerge.  

So, consumers should only book a holiday if the path to a refund is clear to them. 

Package holidays offer the best protection – if your trip is cancelled a refund is owed within 14 days. 

There is no obligation to accept a voucher and so Britons must exercise caution. 

What can you do from today? (And what do we still have to wait for?) 

  • All non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen, as will hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms and swimming pools, with no group classes allowed.
  • Pubs, restaurants and cafes can reopen for outdoor service, but will have to wait until at least May 17 to serve customers indoors.
  • Mass testing to be available, with everyone urged to take two tests per week.
  • New care home rules will allow residents to have two visitors, rather than just one.
  • Self-catering accommodation, including campsites, can reopen, but hotels and B&Bs must remain closed until at least May 17.
  • Shops will be allowed to stay open until 10pm, six days a week, in a bid to reduce crowding.
  • The maximum number of people allowed to attend weddings and wakes will rise from six to 15.
  • Public buildings can reopen, as can outdoor attractions such as theme parks and zoos.
  • Controversial hospitality rules such as the 10pm curfew and requirement to buy a ‘substantial meal’ with alcohol will be dropped.
  • Clothes shops will be allowed to reopen their changing rooms for the first time in more than a year.

Still banned – 

Until May 17 at the earliest: Gatherings of up to 30 people outdoors, with the rule of six and two-household rule indoors; pubs and restaurants will reopen indoors; and controlled indoor events of up to 1,000 people or 50 per cent of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower, will be permitted. 

Outdoor events will be allowed to have a capacity of 50 per cent or 4,000 people, whichever is lower; while special provisions will be made for large, outdoor, seated venues where crowds can be spaced out, with up to 10,000 people or 25 per cent of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.

Up to 30 people will be allowed to attend weddings, receptions, funerals, and commemorative events, including wakes.

Indoor gatherings like exercise classes will be given the go ahead, and steam rooms and saunas will be allowed to reopen.

Until June 21 at the earliest: All legal limits on social contact will be lifted and nightclubs reopened.  



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