Caravan sites & holiday parks reopen: Holidays could start ‘by the beginning of June’

Though international holidays may be on hold for some time, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forces countries into varying levels of lockdown, there could be good news in store for domestic tourism. Travel expert Simon Calder has shared his predictions for holidays throughout the UK in the coming months.


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Appearing on BBC News, he shared an optimistic insight, saying: “My sense very strongly is that we are going to see England opening up for what could loosely be called domestic tourism certainly by the beginning of June.”

Following the UK government’s release of a 50-page document outlining the plans for a phased relaxation of lockdown, Britons are now allowed to exercise outdoors as often as they like.

They are also allowed to sunbathe and enjoy days out in the countryside, provided you stay with your household.

“At the moment in England you can go on a day trip as far as you like, as long as you are going to an outside space,” clarified Calder.

“It might be slower in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but for instance Centre Parcs which has villages across England says ‘we’re opening again on June 12’.

“Looking further ahead into the summer yes it will probably be something like a normal summer for domestic tourism, although anywhere you are going you will suddenly have to cope with the lockdown rules.”

Caravan parks and holiday sites are keen to reopen their doors and are already putting in place strategies to ensure customers and staff are safe once they are given the green light to welcome back guests.

A spokesperson for holiday park Haven said: “Following the latest Government advice, we can confirm that we have taken the decision to temporarily close all Haven holiday parks to holidaymakers across the whole of the UK until July 2 2020.

“The safety and security of our guests, owners and team is our number one priority, and since we closed our parks on 20 March we have been looking at what measures we will implement when Government restrictions are lifted, to ensure that we can maintain this.

“Since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, we have been upweighting our cleaning regimes across all areas of our parks. We follow a methodical approach to cleaning in all our holiday homes to ensure our guests enjoy a safe and comfortable accommodation experience.

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“All our training modules and procedures are being updated to reflect Government guidelines and we are committed to providing guests accommodation that reflects the highest levels of cleaning standards. We will also be adopting similar measures across all areas of our parks, our supermarkets, take away outlets and venues.

“We will also be ensuring that we adopt social distancing measures across all of the central facilities we will be offering and ensuring the number of people we have on our parks at any one time is a safe level to ensure the ongoing safety and security of our guests and team.”

Meanwhile, a statement from The Camping and Caravanning Club reads: “Camping in all its forms puts us on the doorstep of the great outdoors and allows us to spend quality time together in the fresh air and be closer to nature – this will be so important in helping to heal the nation after such a long and unprecedented time of staying in our homes.

“We would urge the Government to provide greater clarity on how the sector can safely open and operate campsites with additional measures in place.


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“We believe that we are well-placed to offer socially-distanced holidays and, provided the country recovers in line with the Government’s plans, we would be eager to work on trial pilot schemes for how campsites may be able to re-open with all necessary measures in place as part of the Phase Three measures.”

Calder also urged Britons with plans throughout the summer not to cancel, as they could lose money unless the holiday provider chooses to cancel.

“At the moment anybody with any kind of travel booking planned for any time – June, July, August – you have to assume that it’s going ahead until something happens to stop it,” he advised.

The travel expert also highlighted the need for further clarity for both customers with travel bookings ahead and travel providers.

“Of course accommodation providers, people who run attractions are desperate to know when they will be able to start up and what rules will apply when they do,” he said.

“At the moment everything is in a state of suspension and there is just an increasing anxiety about the future.”

Calder added: “There is a lot of concern about how tourism is going to work, it will I imagine start off pretty local.

“While we are still trying to find out what happens through the lockdown, how rapidly it gets lifted, what the differences are between the different nations of the UK, well it’s very difficult for everybody to plan anything and hat just heightens the sense of uncertainty and worry for anybody who is dependent on tourism for a living.”

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