Campsites across England are now allowed to reopen as part of the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
And, in good news for tent and campervan campers, new guidelines announced by the Government, mean shared toilet facilities will be permitted to open from 12 April – despite initial suggestions that they wouldn’t.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the reopening date as part of a "cautious but irreversible" four-step roadmap out of lockdown in February.
Initially it was said that only campsites where indoor facilities like shower and toilet blocks were not shared with other households would be allowed to open on 12 April.
As a result, until 17 May, it was thought campers would need to have their own self-contained washing and toilet facilities, whether they were in a motorhome, campervan, caravan or tent.
However new guidance issued by the UK Government said campsites and caravan parks will be allowed to open with shared receptions, washing facilities, public toilets, baby changing rooms, breastfeeding rooms, water points and waste disposal points.
Showers can only operate if household groups are given private shower facilities or a reservation and clean process – where one household can exclusively book the shared facilities for a fixed time, and the facilities are cleaned between reservations.
Campers should check with individual sites to find out what facilities will be available and whether they are allowed to bring their own toilet and shower facilities.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club has announced that it will be opening most sites in England on 12 April and will have toilets and shared washing and cleaning facilities – but no showers. Tent campers are advised to contact the Club campsite directly to make a booking.
Camping and Caravanning Club sites in England and Wales are opening but shared toilet/shower blocks will be closed until 17 May. Campers will be allowed to use chemical toilets that can be disposed of via waste disposal points, and a toilet tent can be put up on your pitch.
In Wales, campsites that don't use shared facilities reopened on 27 March, but only for residents of Wales. Restrictions on visitors from elsewhere in the UK were expected to be lifted on 12 April – depending on the travel restrictions in place where they live.
Scottish campsites hope to reopen on 26 April, but there has been no official confirmation from the Scottish Government. No dates have been announced for the reopening of campsites in Northern Ireland.
All other overnight accommodation in England will be allowed to open as part of Step 3, no earlier than 17 May. Holidays abroad will be banned until 17 May at the earliest.
The ‘stay at home’ rule in England ended on 29 March but some restrictions remain in place.
Holidays abroad are still not allowed to prevent the spread of imported variants but a new taskforce set up to review global travel
FOR UP-TO-THE-MINUTE ADVICE AND INFORMATION ABOUT CAMPING AND TRAVEL DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC SEE OUR OUR COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE