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COVID-19 camping: when will campsites and caravan parks open in the UK?

In England, campsites and caravan parks can open on 4th July, as long as shared facilities are kept clean. However, close proximity venues such as soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools, water parks, bowling alleys and spas will need to stay closed for now.

Wales has announced that self-contained accommodation (i.e. with own shower/bath, WC and kitchen facilities) are likely to open from 11th July (updated from 13th), subject to a decision on 9th July and the public health position. No date has yet been given for accommodation with shared facilities yet, but a review is due in week commencing 9th July. All shared facilities, aside from water and disposal points will remain closed including toilets, shower blocks, laundry, restaurants, nightclubs, swimming pools, children's play areas, bars, cafes, etc. The outdoor areas of bars, cafes and restaurants in Wales will then be permitted from 13 July.

Scotland has confirmed that caravans with self-contained facilities and pitches for touring caravans and motorhomes with their own self-contained facilities can be used from 3rd July. Touring caravans and motorhomes will be able to use waste disposal facilities and water taps, subject to appropriate hygiene procedures being in place. Shared facilities will not be able to be used until 15 July.

Northern Ireland has confirmed a date for caravan parks and camping sites to reopen: 26th June.*

You can still book, though, with deposits guaranteed transferable to a later date and many balances also transferable:

Sites are currently closed by law in EnglandScotlandWales (until 26th September except for self-contained accommodation, but reviewed every 3 weeks) and Northern Ireland, except for limited circumstances. People cannot stay overnight away from their home, except for limited reasons such as work purposes.

Reopening will only be allowed 'when the assessment of risk warrants further adjustments to the remaining measures'. This will depend on the government's five tests, scientific advice and evidence from reopening similar establishments elsewhere in the world. Many campsites in Italy, Spain, France and the USA are now open.

'COVID-19 Secure' safety guidance

To reopen, businesses must also comply with 'COVID-19 Secure' guidelines, which have been released for EnglandScotland and Northern Ireland. These guidelines have been developed by the Visitor Economy Working Group, chaired by the tourism minister Nigel Huddleston and including representatives from key sector bodies such as the British Holiday and Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) and B&B Association. The working group is part of DCMS’ Cultural Renewal Taskforce, in charge of defining the roadmap to recovery for recreation and leisure activities.

More extensive unofficial guidance is also available from the BH&HPA and UK Hospitality. The government also has existing social-distancing and cleaning advice.

VisitEngland has partnered with the national tourist boards of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to launch We're Good to Go for businesses to demonstrate they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and checked that they have the required processes in place.

Parks are currently adapting to these guidelines before opening. For example, staff are being trained in new cleaning processes, and pitches reconfigured if capacity is required to reduce.

Many argue that holidays in outdoor environments, with more space, fresh air and your own equipment, are lower risk than enclosed spaces with ventilation systems. In the words of the government's deputy chief medical officer, “It is absolutely a biological truism that outdoor environments are much less [of a] risk than indoor environments”.

Coronavirus camping

Caravan parks and campsites have already introduced measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have added around 50 Coronavirus settings, drawing on examples from around the world - these are visible in the Features and Policies tabs of Pitchup listings when selected by campsites.

Examples include:

  • Disinfectant sprays and wipes provided
  • Check-in: self check-in (unattended)
  • Staggered showering times
  • Minimum spacing of _ metres between pitches
  • Reception is closed due to restrictions imposed by the coronavirus outbreak

Many campsites also now offer transferable balances to next year, and balance payments on arrival with a low transferable deposit.

Are campsites open?

Campsites can only open to the public in Northern Ireland at present. Elsewhere, in the UK, they can open as follows:

  • In England, campsites and caravan parks can open on 4th July
  • In Scotland campsites and caravan parks can reopen on 3rd July, except shared facilities can only open on 15th July
  • In Wales, self-contained accommodation can open on 13th July (indicative, self-contained accommodation only. No date has yet been provided for non-self-contained accommodation in Wales.

When will holiday parks open?

We are in regular contact with all our campsites, which are updating dates and availability based on the latest guidance. You can view the latest expected opening dates in our search and campsite pages.

Here are opening dates of some the UK's largest groups:

  • Haven is reopening in England on 6th July, and in Wales from 13 July and in Scotland on 17 July (subject to final Welsh and Scottish government confirmation)
  • Parkdean Resorts is reopening in England on 6th July, Wales 13th July, and Scotland 17th July
  • The Caravan and Motorhome Club (CAMC, formerly The Caravan Club) intends to reopen the majority of sites from 4th July in England, 10th July in Scotland and 13th July in Wales. Certificated Locations (CLs) and Affiliated Sites will be able to open from the same dates, except Affiliated Sites and CLs in Northern Ireland which can open from 26 June
  • The Camping and Caravanning Club (The C&CC) will reopen the majority of sites in England from 4th July, in Northern Ireland from 4th July (without facility blocks), in Scotland from 4th July (without facility blocks) and from 15th July (with facility blocks) and in Wales 13th July (indicative)
  • Center Parcs' UK villages are closed until 13th July
  • Forest Holidays is accepting bookings for arrival from 6th July, except in Scotland (3rd July)
  • Butlin's is awaiting government guidance on facility opening

*in the Republic of Ireland, caravan parks and holiday parks can open on 20th July, initially on a limted occupancy basis.

Can I go camping abroad?

Campsites are reopening around the world - read restrictions in our FAQs - and you can travel abroad. Residents returning to the UK and visitors to the UK must self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive. However, an announcement is expected on 29th June that those travelling to and from certain European countries, including Portugal, will be exempt from this rule.

Those arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man are already exempt from the quarantine requirement

View all of our Coronavirus FAQs

  • When will campsites open in Wales? 'Self contained' accommodation in Wales is expected to open on 13th July, but other types of campsite accommodation in Wales are closed by law until 26th September. This date is reviewed every 3 weeks and the Welsh government may reopen them earlier. Read more.
  • When can caravan parks open? In England, on 4th July, in Scotland on 3rd July (shared facilities 15th July), in Wales on 13th July (indicative, self-contained accommodation only) and in Northern Ireland on 26th June. No date has yet been provided for non-self-contained accommodation in Wales. Read more.
  • What are the rules on camping during COVID-19? The government has released COVID-19 Secure guidance before campsites reopen, and many campsites have already added safety features and rules. Find out more.