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Camping in England
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Will we be allowed to go camping in the UK this summer?

Campsites in England are officially allowed to open from July 4

Ellie Walker-Arnott

After a couple of months stuck inside our homes, we want nothing more than to escape the city for a change of scenery. Once it’s safe to do so, of course.

Whether or not we’ll be able to travel internationally this year remains up in the air (here’s what we know so far about that) but we do know that anyone entering the UK will be subject to a strict 14-day quarantine, so travel closer to home is suddenly looking a lot more appealing. 

What else do we know? Day trips from London are officially allowed again – and that’s got us thinking about when we’ll free to venture into the countryside for a weekend break or a ’lil UK holiday. The type of break that appeals to a lot of us the most right now is few nights sleeping under canvas or in a campervan on a campsite. Camping seems like the ideal post-lockdown break, thanks to the fact that it’s in the open air and that, most of the time, you bring your own kit. 

But is camping allowed in the UK right now? Prime minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that holidays in England are officially allowed from July 4, when hotels, B&Bs and campsites can reopen for the summer. 

The campsites will be subject to tight regulations around hygiene and social distancing. Campsites are only allowed to open ‘as long as shared facilities are kept clean,’ said the PM. 

How each site handles this will different, but it might mean that campers will have to prebook, while the sites could have lower occupancy with more space between pitches. 

Johnson also announced that England’s two-metre social-distancing rule is set to change on July 4. It will go down to one metre, which will help places like campsites reopen. 

Campsite in England
Photograph: Shutterstock

Booking sites like Cool Camping are currently accepting bookings from July 4 onwards (with new booking rules that state ‘if you find that you’re unable to take your holiday due to coronavirus, you’ll be able to move your holiday by up to 18 months’).

The Camping and Caravanning Club are also ready to go this summer. ‘Reopening our sites with social-distancing measures in place and in a controlled manner over the summer months will enable people to enjoy a break,’ the organisation said, adding: ‘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.’

Campsites in Wales and Scotland will likely follow suit the same month. Though exact details are yet to be confirmed, travel in Wales will be allowed from July 6, with accommodation poised to reopen from July 13, while Scotland’s campsites could reopen from July 15

Until it’s all official though, the only place you’re guaranteed a pitch is in your own back garden – if you’re lucky enough to have one of those, that is. 

Dreaming of waking up in the great outdoors? Check out these campsites near London for when lockdown is liftedthese great places to camp in the UK and our pick of cool campervan-friendly campsites in the UK

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