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Camping in England
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When will campsites reopen in the UK?

As the UK eases lockdown, self-catered holidays will be allowed again from April – and that includes camping

Huw Oliver
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Huw Oliver
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After the best part of a year stuck inside our homes, we want nothing more than 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, but holidays closer to home should be a goer as early as April. Yesterday, prime minister Boris Johnson laid out the UK’s latest lockdown exit strategy. It stated that self-catered accommodation, including holiday cottages and Airbnbs would be allowed to reopen from April 12 – as long as guests form part of the same household.

And the same goes for camping. A few nights sleeping under canvas or in a campervan on a campsite really does seem 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.

Luckily, camping falls under the category of self-catered accommodation – which means that from April 12, all campsites and caravan parks where indoor facilities are not shared with other households will be allowed to reopen.

From April 12 until May 17, you will be able to stay in a tent or campervan – but only with members of your own household. However, there isn’t anything in the rules to prevent friends or family from camping in the same campsite, as long as you only socialise outdoors in a group of fewer than six people and maintain social-distancing rules. (However, some sites will not accept group bookings in order to keep inter-tent socialising at a minimum.)

From May 17, you can camp with a group of up to six people from six different households (or an unlimited number of people from only two households). Hotels, B&Bs and hostels will also be able to reopen from this date. Finally, all restrictions on the number of households staying together will be lifted no sooner than June 21.

These dates apply just to England, but campsites in Wales and Scotland are likely to follow suit.

It’s also worth noting that some posher glamping sites may not open until May 17, as they may rely on shared facilities.

Like last year, campsites will be subject to tight regulations around hygiene and social distancing, at least to begin with. How each site handles this will be different, but it might mean that campers will have to prebook, while the sites could have lower occupancy with more space between pitches.

Until then, 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.

More news on the UK’s reopening:

When will shops reopen?

When will pubs and bars reopen?

When will restaurants reopen?

When will hairdressers reopen?

When can I take a day trip?

When can I go on holiday?

When will cinemas reopen?

When will gyms reopen?

When will hotels reopen?

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