With holidays abroad this year looking doubtful, the nation's eyes have collectively turned to 'staycationing' and specifically camping. In May, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a 'first sketch of a road map for reopening society'. In the following months, many people have started to make belated plans for a summer getaway.
After the Prime Minister's address to the public, the government announced 'travel corridors' with some countries, meaning travelling abroad is possible, in some cases, without the need to quarantine. However, the Prime Minister later warned that these travel corridors could be changed at any time, leaving many dubious to book trips abroad.
But, interest in camping is hotting up. Google search interest for campsites is at its highest since September last year, proving a huge desire amongst the public for camping holidays. Moreover, booking website Campsites.co.uk told us Sunday 26 July was its busiest day ever, with website traffic 3x higher than it was this time last year.
Here's everything you need to know about booking a camping holiday...
Can I go camping right now?
Campsites and caravan parks in the UK have been open since 4 July.
This came as welcome news to the camping industry. Earlier in June, The Director Generals of the three leading camping organisations in UK; The Caravan and Motorhome Club, The Camping and Caravanning Club and The British Holiday and Home Parks Association wrote to the Prime Minister urging him not to leave the camping sector behind and 'Save Our Summer'.
What safety measures have been put in place?
"Campsite operators have carried out full assessments of each site to ensure that all will be operating to COVID Secure guidelines as published by the Government," a spokesperson for The Caravan and Motorhome Club, The Camping and Caravanning Club and The British Holiday and Home Parks Association. "Pitches are well spaced and at least 6 metres apart, there will be increased cleaning protocols of communal areas, contactless arrival and departure will be available where possible and most common areas will be open with social distancing measures in place. This could include toilet blocks, laundry, information rooms, water and waste points."
Can I start planning my next camping trip?
The Camping and Caravanning Club is currently taking bookings even while its website is closed and advises these bookings are fully flexible. Similarly, Cool Camping is still taking bookings and advises these will be fully flexible up to 18 months after you book in the event of coronavirus restrictions.
Upon the news that campsites were reopening, Martin Smith, founder of Campsites.co.uk told us this was "fantastic news." He adds that "the public are desperate to book an outdoor break and campers can finally book with confidence."
How can I protect myself from the virus?
It’s worth thinking about how you’ll make your tent and surroundings secure against the virus.
While it’s important you practice social distancing once you get to a camp sites, don’t forget other measures, too. This could include packing gloves, face masks and cleaning essentials.
Following the guidance the government has set for businesses reopening, there are steps you can take when you go camping to help keep yourself safe from the virus. Take hand sanitiser with you and regularly wash and dry your hands. Government advice also states businesses should frequently disinfect and clean surfaces. So, think about how this applies to camping. It's a good idea to clean chairs, tables and barbecue equipment regularly, especially if multiple people are touching it.
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