Can I go camping in the UK during lockdown?

British tourists and holidaymakers are likely to turn to domestic trips and camping breaks once lockdown restrictions are fully lifted, as it looks increasingly unlikely that summer holidays abroad will be a possibility this year. Campsite providers have started considering how they may be able to reopen safely when Brits are free to move around, whenever that may be.

Can I go camping in the UK during lockdown?

Hopes are high among British campsites for a summer business boom, all campsites and caravan parks are to remain closed in accordance with Public Health advice.

So, in short, no. People should avoid camping during the lockdown as it is in breach of the guidance in place.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddlestone tweeted: “You and your household can head outdoors for your physical and mental wellbeing in England.

“But be respectful to local people and communities. You must adopt social distancing at all times.

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“Then return to your primary home – no overnight stays, including second homes and holiday homes.”

These regulations extend to free camping as well – the practice of pitching your tent on public land.

Under normal circumstances, free camping is only legal on Dartmoor in England and across most regions of Scotland, but it is strictly banned under current regulations.

Anybody who is caught breaking the rules and camping will receive a large fine.

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When will campsites reopen?

Despite the Government not providing guidance specific to campsites, it is safe to assume that along with the hospitality industry, their reopening will fall under step three of the exit plan.

Campsites and holiday parks in England are expected to begin reopening from July 4 onwards. 

However, this is under constant review and a second spike in coronavirus infections would almost certainly see reopening dates pushed back.

Managing Director of Pitchup.com, Dan Yates said: “In short, with a date of ‘no earlier’ than July 4, time will be tight to capitalise on this summer.

“Typically, the peak begins in the third week of July with the start of the school holidays, and ends at August Bank Holiday.”

Cool Camping told the i newspaper that it had seen an increase in traffic and booking for July and August since the news.

A spokesperson said: “It looks like there has been some pent up demand with people waiting for some guidance about when they would be allowed to take holidays again.”

Director General of The Camping and Caravanning Club, Sabina Voysey said the coronavirus crisis has had a “significant impact” on their business.

Ms Voysey said: “We have campsites all over the UK and believe that you don’t have to travel far for a break and a change of scene.

“By supporting local businesses and local economies in a sensible and phased approach we can start to help the rebuilding process when the time is right.”

She added that the industry would urge the Government to give them “greater clarity” on how the sector can reopen and operate safely with additional measures.

Campsite operators have already begun trying to find ways of making it safer for customers.

Most campsites are already well equipped for social distancing, with acres of space in which people can pitch their tents without coming close to fellow campers.

The situation remains easier for caravan and motorhome owners, which are already equipped for a self-contained lifestyle.

Additionally, caravan and motor home pitches are already more than two metres apart for fire safety reasons, meaning contact with others is minimised.

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