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The Return to Caravanning and Campsites | Information You Should Know

Lockdown has come with many trials and hardships, but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. With the government beginning to chart a course out of lockdown and introducing the gradual ease of restrictions, such as opening up non-essential businesses and eateries as well as the re-emergence of various social and leisure activities, we can begin to think about getting back to what we love, and making up for lost time.
In this article we aim to support you in reintroducing yourself to the joys of caravanning as well as understanding how to prepare yourself for the return to campsites, whilst still maintaining the safety of yourself, and those around you. We will be covering:

Firstly, let’s touch on some specific key dates and existing restrictions that will gradually change over time, to get a better idea of what they mean for the caravan community and your ability to holiday this year. 

The roadmap out of lockdown for the United Kingdom is as follows:

From the 12th April milestone, you’ll be excited to know that camping and caravanning is able to go ahead for the first time this year. With one of the key points touched upon during this time frame being the importance of having “self contained accommodation”  if you’re aiming to travel. Campsites and Caravan parks that reopen from this date forward have the ability to allow visits with individuals from the same household or support bubble, but this could differ from site to site depending on individual rules and regulations and should be confirmed with your accommodation supplier.
Some caravan parks and campsites may introduce individual restrictions and limitations for those they accommodate, including barring access to small indoor facilities at the sites, including communal areas such as shared toilets or washing facilities. From this date, the Caravan and Motorhome Club is aiming to reopen their sites as well as Haven, with both ensuring that they proceed with caution and continue to comply with the appropriate legal guidelines.
From the 17th May milestone, the Government is beginning to re-introduce domestic overnight stays, including at Caravan Parks or Campsites. During this time, the limit on the number of individuals able to gather in an outdoor space has also been raised. On that same note, the increase in numbers ushers in the reintroduction of adult sport and outdoor entertainment, allowing for an extended variety of activities being made available to partake in, offering the ability to evolve your holiday experience further if you’re looking for local activities to enjoy.
Butlins have confirmed that they plan to reopen their doors from this date onwards, but arrangements may continue to change based on government guidelines and changes in restrictions.
From the 21st June the government is hoping to introduce no legal limit on social contact and gathering, with larger events able to make a comeback. The removal of lockdown restrictions allows for the much anticipated return of some of the biggest Caravan, Motorhome and Camping shows of the year, although some have been delayed to 2022 to ensure complete safety, whilst still aiming to create an enjoyable experience and atmosphere! Foreign holidays should also begin to make a return from this date onwards, perfect for those who are looking to go travelling accompanied by a fresh change of scenery. If you are considering a caravan or motorhome holiday outside of the UK, you should ensure that you inform yourself of the regulations and restrictions that may be in place at your desired holiday location.

The roadmap out of lockdown for Scotland is as follows: 

From the 5th April, vehicle dealerships can begin to open, offering you the ability to visit a dealership if you are considering purchasing a new caravan or motorhome. This is perfect for those who are interested in making a purchase, but want to physically see a vehicle in before settling on a deal. The opening of non-essential retail allows you the chance to shop around if you desire to do so, which will be perfect if you’re travelling to an area that boasts a great local highstreet. 
From the 16th April, travel restrictions aim to be eased, allowing individuals to leave their local areas to partake in exercise, leisure activities and socialisation, although the ability to travel may differ from place to place, therefore not always be permitted. This key date also allows for gathering rules to be relaxed slightly, with up to six adults from six separate households having the ability to meet up in an outside space. In just over a week's time from this date, you can begin to think about venturing out for the first time this year in your caravan or motorhome, so it is wise to start making preparations or bookings for potential travel. 
From the 26th April, the Government aims to transition Scotland into a modified level 3 tier, with some restrictions revolving around the amount of individuals able to meet outdoors being eased further, but only for outside gatherings. For those desperate for a holiday away from home, the ability to travel to parts of Britain from this key date onwards offers you the change of scenery you may be craving.
The Camping and Caravanning club has proposed that their sites will reopen from this date forward, whereas the Caravan and Motorhome club has stated that they aim to honour any pre-existing reservations that fall between the 5th and 25th April - although the ability for keen travelers to book a new reservation will only become available from the 26th April onwards. 
From the 17th May, Scotland will be moving from a level 3 tier (as previously mentioned) to a level 2 tier, introducing further easing regarding the number of individuals able to take part in outdoor mixing. This date also sees indoor socialising being permitted to go ahead, with up to four individuals from two households able to gather indoors, meaning that you now have the ability to welcome individuals into your private spaces that you previously couldn’t. 
The ability for adults to partake in sport that includes contact is able to make a return, offering you extended options of activities to partake in when travelling.
In June the Scottish Government aims to move from a level 2 tier to a level 1 tier, with the overall goal of removing all restrictions and moving to tier 0 by the end of the month. This will be up for review as we progress and residents of Scotland will be informed of any further decisions, changes and limitations as this date approaches. 

The roadmap out of lockdown for Wales is as follows:

From the 12th April, You can expect remaining shops to open and travel to be permitted, allowing you to leave and enter Wales. This change in restrictions offers the ability to venture outside in your caravan or motorhome for the first time this year, with campsites reopening - however, they do so without access to toilets, showers and indoor communal facilities. 
From the 26th April, outdoor hospitality such as restaurants, pubs and cafes can begin to open up, as well as attractions such as theme parks or adventure parks, offering more options of enjoyable places to visit on your travels, especially if travelling with children.  
From 10th May, Two households are now able to meet indoors, offering flexibility not previously had, in inviting people into your private caravan or motorhome space. 
From 17th May, the welsh government are planning to sign off further eased restrictions, but this will follow on from the elections on the 6th of may as well as the progression shown throughout the previous key milestone dates. 

The roadmap out of lockdown for Ireland is as follows: 

From the 12th April, county wide travel is permitted, or up to 20 Kilometres from home if you are located next to a border. This means that those who are ready and eager to get back out there, are able to visit a local caravan or campsite to get a change of scenery. From this date two households are able to meet outdoors, with social distancing enforced. 
From April 26th, outdoor sports such as golf and tennis may resume and the reemergence of various outdoor attractions such as zoos or heritage sites can offer an alternative activity to partake in if travelling locally and looking for enjoyable things to do.
Those who have received all necessary doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine, are permitted to carry out indoor visits with one other household that has also received full vaccine protection. So if you’re fully vaccinated you may decide that you want to invite individuals of one other household into your private caravan or motorhome space for social purposes, as long as all individuals fall under the eligible criteria.
Relevant key dates continue to be under consideration, with the government aiming to examine the progress made throughout April to May, so that the next steps taken can continue to prevent further outbreak of the virus. 
Dates will continue to change, as will restrictions and limitations, depending on varying levels of safety and progression. If you are planning on venturing out, please remember to do so safely and in accordance with the appropriate government restrictions for your location. It is a good idea to contact a camping or caravan site before you travel to ensure that you are up to date with their rules and regulations, both old and new - allowing you to know what to expect and prepare for any changes that may have been introduced. 

Questions you may have regarding the return to campsites: 

Of course as we slowly work towards getting back to normality, you may be left with many questions, and whilst some of these will likely be best answered by the authorities of the site you are visiting, we can try to help you answer some of the most frequently asked ones, right here. 
How should I proceed if I begin to feel unwell during my holiday? 
Of course this procedure may differ from site to site, with individual authorities having different guidelines on what to do if you experience this situation. If you begin to feel unwell whilst on a visit to a camp or caravan site, you should proceed by staying indoors and self-isolating, the aim here is to minimise contact with individuals outside of the holiday household to prevent any type of outbreak or spread.
If you are showing COVID-19 symptoms such as a continuous cough, a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, and a high temperature, you should not ignore these symptoms, instead arranging for a COVID test to be carried out using the campsite address. 
It is also important that you notify your accommodation provider, so that they can become aware of the situation and guide you on next steps if necessary, which if possible and safe to do so, may result in you leaving the site, for both your own safety and the safety of those around you. 
Will I be required to wear a facemask or other PPE equipment whilst on my holiday?
Most Government guidelines require that you do continue to wear a mask and carry out  social distancing whilst in any indoor environments, as well as encourage the use of masks in highly populated outdoor areas - unless you are exempt from doing so. 
You should take the time to research the appropriate regulations regarding this before you set out to travel, either by checking your government website or by contacting the site you are planning to visit for individual guidance. Some sites may require you to safely remove your masks if necessary for identification purposes, but this should be done in a controlled environment and will be carried out sensibly. 
Will I need to have had the Covid vaccine to be eligible to travel and stay on site for my holiday?
Most campsites and caravan parks have stated that this is not a requirement they expect of you in order to holiday with them, but again, this is something you should research before travelling, making sure to check your government website for guidance as well as ask your accommodation provider of choice whether this is a requirement that you must meet.
I’ve got an existing holiday booked but haven’t yet heard from my accommodation providers, what should I do?
Firstly, you should ensure that your telephone number and email address listed on your booking is correct, as this will be your accommodation providers first point of contact if there are any significant issues with your booking or for necessary updates. You should be able to do this on their website, or by contacting them directly with any necessary information required to identify and access your existing booking.
You should make sure that you continue to check your email, both your main inbox and junk, as an email regarding your booking simply may have been lost amongst your mail. Whilst this situation must be approached with patience, as many holiday providers will be rushing to ensure that all bookings are correct and able to go ahead on their originally scheduled dates, you can always contact your provider via email or telephone if you are unsure of the next steps, or need confirmation that your holiday is still going ahead. 
Given that your caravan or motorhome may not have been out and about in some time due to lockdown restrictions, it is of the utmost importance that you ensure that the correct checks have been completed, reassuring you that your vehicle is ready to safely carry you on your adventure. 
With international travel still waiting to be confirmed and various restrictions being eased over time, you may decide that your best bet this year is to jump into the world of caravanning if it is something you have yet to experience or are already enthusiastic about. Doing so offers you the ability to holiday, somewhat close to home, but with a change of scenery that is much needed. If you're looking to purchase a Caravan, Motorhome or Campervan, or are considering an option that comes with less commitment such as hiring a vehicle, you can do so through our website! 
Good luck, stay safe and enjoy! 
Alix Burchell
Caravans For Sale Marketing Team
Published on 16-04-2021
Alix is a member of the Caravans for Sale marketing team. She will provide weekly content covering a range of topics including advice, how to guides, travel blogs, technical advice and latest news.