The question we are asked most frequently is, “What are your plans?”
Mark and I always have plenty of plans, although in these extraordinary times, there is no guarantee that any of them will come off. Nevertheless, by having plans in place and ready to go, we can respond quickly to the changing situation.
Yet even if the restrictions lift so that you can travel, should you hit the road? Here is our latest appraisal of the situation.
Please note that coronavirus is a developing situation and all information in this blog is subject to change. Please check for the most up-to-date information before you travel. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing and where possible, the links are to official or government websites, however, all information is used at your own risk, please see my disclaimer.
What is the Timetable for Opening UK Campsites?
At present in the UK, overnight stays away from home are not permitted. The first phase of relaxing lockdown on 1st June 2020 does not mention campsites. Campsites are lumped in with hospitality and leisure industries, which may open in phase three, currently scheduled for 4th July 2020 at the earliest.
Note that easing of lockdown varies for the devolved regions of the UK.
- England – Coronavirus – What You Can & Can’t Do from 1st June
- Wales – Wales’ Response to Coronavirus
- Scotland – Coronavirus in Scotland, the Scottish Route Map for Easing Lockdown and advice on Caravan Sites & Holiday Parks
- Northern Ireland – Northern Ireland Coronavirus Advice and specific advice for Holiday Caravan Owners
What About CMC & C&CC Sites?
- The Caravan and Motorhome Club has written an open letter to the UK’s Chief Medical Officer outlining the precautions that they will take to maintain customer safety.
- The Camping and Caravanning Club offers updates and advice on their website, including a link to the current position on re-opening.
What is the Timetable for Easing Lockdown in Europe?
The magic dates are as follows;
1st June 2020: UK – Lockdown eases but staying away overnight is not permitted.
3rd June 2020: Italy – Italy is set to lift travel restrictions and open its borders.
8th June 2020: UK – The UK has proposed the implementation of a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals in the UK, with spot checks at the nominated address and a £1000 fine for breaking quarantine. France has reciprocated, stating that it will impose quarantine on any country that does this. Greece has also declared a ban on British tourists in response. These bans are academic at the moment for UK residents, since The UK FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) currently advises against all but essential international travel.
15th June 2020: Schengen– Schengen borders are set to re-open.
Where Can I Get European Travel Information?
- Click here for the UK Government website travel advisory with links for every country.
- ACSI has a dedicated web page with up-to-date information on Coronavirus restrictions and campsite availability.
Important Considerations Before You Travel
As yet, there is no coronavirus vaccine. Social distancing and personal hygiene is all that stands between us and the spectre of a secondary wave of infection, which could lead to further lock downs either locally or globally.
Although borders are opening and governments across Europe are easing restrictions, coronavirus has not gone away. It is important not to lose sight of the fact that the Number One priority is to keep yourself safe and not spread the virus.
- Follow the Guildelines – keep up social distancing, hand washing and adhere to local guidance. If you have an underlying medical condition, travel may not be advisable, even if permitted.
- Carry PPE – Personal Protective Equipment. Masks are mandatory in most public places around Europe, including shops. Carrying hand gel is a good idea to protect yourself after visiting high-traffic areas such as petrol stations and supermarkets.
- Travel Insurance – check very carefully what is and is not covered before you travel. Policies are unlikely to cover anything to do with consequences of covid-19 and travelling against UK FCO advice is usually a quick way to invalidate your policy.
- Avoid Crowded Spots – this may be easier said than done, since once lockdown eases, the Caravan Will Be King!
- Book Your Campsite – because the situation might change quickly and it is likely that campsites will restrict numbers, booking is recommended.
- Campsites with Private Sanitary Facilities – One of the benefits of touring in a caravan or motorhome is having your own, private loo and shower. If you do not, ACSI lists nearly 800 campsites with private, individual sanitary facilities.
- Wild Camping – note that this is illegal in many European countries. If you do choose to wild camp, i.e. not on an official campsite, do not cause a nuisance and dispose of waste responsibly.
- Socially Responsible Beach Guide – to help people to get their Vitamin Sea safely, Surfers Against Sewage has published this socially responsible beach guide.
At the moment, holidays at home or abroad are not possible in the UK. In Europe, as lockdowns lift, spending time in nature, away from crowded tourist spots seems to be the way forward in the coming months. Economies devastated by the lockdown do need the tourist income, but this is not an excuse to put yourself or others at risk.
Mark and I intend to remain in our apartment in Northern Italy to see how things develop. With a 14-day incubation period, the impact of relaxation measures will become evident in Italy in mid-June and the rest of Europe in late-June. We may set out to travel in July if we feel it is safe and responsible to do so.
In the meantime, keep planning; it makes you happy – and as soon as the restrictions lift, you will be primed and ready to hit the road!
Click this link for 10 Tips For a Safe & Stress Free Post-Covid Road Trip.
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If you need a vicarious travel fix, check out my books. The latest, Pups on Piste has just received a 5* review on Goodreads from Beth Haslam, bestselling author of Fat Dogs and French Estates series.
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