Campsites reopen: How new UK lockdown rules impact future of camping – when can you camp?

Camping holidays are likely to be very popular this year as British travellers look for destinations closer to home. Campisite booking website Cool Camping said recently that it has recorded a five-fold increase in the number of bookings since Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement at the beginning of May. Yesterday, the UK government set out more plans to ease lockdown rules from June 1 which included six people being able to meet outdoors in England.

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But as some schools, high street shops and outdoor markets look to reopen from June 1, what does that mean for camping?

The UK government’s new rules on meeting outdoors state that people can meet in gardens and private outdoor spaces.

The government website said: “Groups of up to six people will be able to meet outdoors in England from Monday 1 June, including in gardens and other private outdoor spaces, provided strict social distancing guidelines are followed.”

It continued: “Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, provided they meet COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.

“We intend to open all other non-essential retail from 15 June, as long as the government’s five tests are still being met and COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed.”

This sounds promising but the rules state that the outdoor spaces must be “private” and that social distancing must still remain in place.

The website added: “The evidence shows that the risk of transmission is significantly lower outdoors and this step will mean that people can see more of their friends, family and loved ones.

“However, as we take this small step forward, it is critical that those from different households continue to stay two metres apart.

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“And it remains the case that people should not spend time inside the homes of their friends and families, other than to access the garden or use the toilet.”

So, camping with friends and family in public areas such as beaches or in campsites is still not permitted.

Currently, campsites in England are working under the assumption that they fall into the government’s third phase of the easing of lockdown.

This has previously been stated as “a hope to re-open at least some of the hospitality industry… provided they are safe and enforce social distancing… no earlier than 4 July”.

Details of how to reopen are still being set up with VisitBritain and The British Holiday and Home Parks Association among others still holding discussions.

More guidance is set to be published in the coming weeks on what businesses can do to keep themselves, their employees and their customers safe, according to inews.

The Cabinet Office told Express.co.uk that the Prime Minister was clear that people should not be staying overnight anywhere under the adjusted measures.

Mr Johnson said yesterday: “We want people to be able to see two grandparents at once.

“But it has to be social distanced, there has to be a maximum of six people, and no, we don’t want people to stay overnight, we don’t want people to go to other households and stay there.”

Olof Karp, UK managing director at PriceSpy said that camping equipment sales have already risen with Britons hoping for a camping staycation in the future.

He said: “As the weather improves, UK consumers are looking to make as much of sunshine as they possibly can.

“While overall sales of many products remain suppressed compared to last year, there has been an obvious shift in the last two weeks.

“It seems likely this is coupled with recent government updates on lockdown measures and temperatures staying consistently high.

“With the shops and pubs shut, the parks, gardens and beaches are full with Brits seeking to stay fit, spend time with family and friends, or even venture into the great outdoors.”

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