COVID & THE RE-OPENING OF CARAVAN/CAMPING SITES
Ever since the UK went into full national lockdown on 4th January we have been waiting for some positive news to indicate a light at the end of this long tunnel.
On Monday 22nd February the government unveiled a road map for gradually lifting the current coronavirus restrictions. There are 4 parts to this, and if all goes to plan – our summer is looking a lot more hopeful.
But what does it mean for the caravanner?
Step One concentrates on getting children back to school, slowly increasing outdoor social contact and re-opening outdoor sports facilities. But step two, three and four are important potential dates in the lives of the caravanner.
Step Two: No earlier than 12th April. Self-contained holiday accommodation will be allowed to re-open. This includes static caravans, chalets and log cabins - and is restricted to single households or support bubbles only. Please note that communal facilities will not re-open at this stage.
- Shower blocks, toilets, washing up areas (including laundries) and communal kitchens remain closed.
- Sites with swimming pools, tennis courts and other sporting facilities may re-open them. If they do, there will be additional rules to manage any social contact and limit the potential spread of the virus.
- Where possible - bars, cafes and restaurants may re-open for service outside. Table service only. Customers will only be able to use the toilets if they are eating/drinking at the establishment.
- Touring caravan and tent sites will potentially be permitted to open at this stage – but only if visitors can be fully self-contained. This means that they must have their own toilet, cooking and washing facilities. Site operators must ensure that there is no access to any shared facilities (including indoor taps) and that they can provide chemical toilet disposal facilities. Any outdoor taps must be provided with suitable cleaning and hand sanitising equipment.
Step Three: No earlier than 17th May. Remaining holiday accommodation can re-open. This will include campsites (camping, touring and glamping) with shared facilities. Groups of up to 6 people, or 2 households are now permitted to mix indoors and consequently able to book joint accommodation.
- Touring caravan site operators must adhere to the maximum number of caravans permitted by their licence. Over-filling the site is a fire safety risk and in the time of COVID will make social distancing more difficult to implement successfully.
- Tent camping sites must plan for adequate social distancing between tents and guests.
- Indoor shared facilities may now re-open, but only after provision has been made to ensure the regular cleaning of equipment and hand sanitiser has been provided where necessary. These facilities include shower blocks, toilets, washing areas (including laundries) and communal kitchens.
- Bars, restaurants and cafes may re-open. Service can now take place indoors as well as out – but table service will remain mandatory.
No earlier than 21st June. The government hope to re-open all remaining premises.
Obviously, these steps are only a guideline at this stage and rely partly on the impact of vaccination, partly on people continuing to practice social distancing.