English Campsites Are Preparing To Open In July As Lockdown Relaxes
As UK lockdown procedures are set to be relaxed over the coming weeks, campsite owners are planning preparations to re-open from July - as long as social distancing measures can be followed. Under the government’s Plan to Rebuild (pdf), published on 11 May, accommodation providers may be able to reopen from as early as 4 July, but will be subject to certain conditions.
Since UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the plans on 10 May, bookings have increased five-fold on Cool Campings (a website representing up to 600 UK camping destinations), however are still seeing decreased booking rates compared to previous years. The company launched a coronavirus booking guarantee on May 15, which allows customers to book with a 20% deposit, pay the balance 10 days before the holiday and move the booking date for up to 18 months in the event of continued or renewed restrictions.
The proposed reopening date of 4 July is only under the conditions that the government tests have been properly carried out regarding the NHS, infection rates, PPE, current testing and death rates - and if this is confirmed that the risk of a second peak is lower, then it is likely that the public may see camping locations become available from within England first (as other UK countries are following different guidelines).
In a statement, Sabina Voysey, the director general of The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “We would urge the government to provide greater clarity on how the sector can safely open and operate campsites with additional measures in place.” Voysey also suggested that, initially, campers should be allowed only to visit local sites: “We believe that you don’t have to travel far for a break and a change of scene – by supporting local businesses and local economies in a sensible and phased approach, we can start to help the rebuilding process when the time is right.”
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