HOLIDAY PARKS have been closed for several weeks as part of the Government’s bid to slow the spread of coronavirus. But when can we go on holiday in the UK?
Holiday parks are looming in peoples minds now the weather has started to warm up. With many Britons hesitant to travel abroad as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact other countries, more people are seeking staycations this summer. So when can you go on holiday in the UK?
This week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced retailers in England will be able to open so long as they are COVID-secure next month.
Mr Johnson said outdoor markets and showrooms will be able to start trading from June 1.
All other non-essential retailers including shops selling clothes, books and electronics can follow suit from June 15.
Employers will face “spot checks” to make sure they are implementing social distancing and have been told they must undertake a risk assessment after consultation with trade unions and workers.
As layers of the lockdown restrictions are eased, many peoples minds are turning to summer holiday travel plans.
The UK travel sector has been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic with turnover down by around 56 percent since last year.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) turnover in the travel industry fell from £2.6 billion in March 2019 to £1.2bn this year as lockdown took hold.
Millions of people would be looking to book after the crisis has passed, but many have expressed concerns about travelling abroad during the pandemic.
Instead, many holiday seekers are instead turning to Britain for their holidays this year.
Under current rules, day trips to outdoor spaces are permitted.
But taking any kind of overnight trip, including a visit to a second home is not allowed.
Hotels, bed and breakfasts and holiday parks are still closed.
The next phase of easing lockdown rules will begin from June 1 with primary school pupils returning to school and some shops opening.
All non-essential retail operators will open from June 15 as long as they are maintaining safety measures.
A larger overarching change is expected from July 4, just in time for the summer holidays, when the hospital industry might be able to start operating again, assuming that acceptable social distancing can be introduced.
It is thought some tourist sites and leisure attractions may also open at that time.
Polices at individual holiday park companies will vary and may be subject to change in the coming weeks.
Many believe once pubs and restaurants begin to reopen, there is also likely to a relaxation of restrictions on camping, caravanning and holiday cottages.
When reopening most will need to institute social distancing measures as well as likely be subject to deep cleaning regimes.
As yet the Government has made no indication as to when holiday accommodation operators might be able to operate again.
Restrictions are much tighter in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with Scotland only beginning to ease lockdown on May 28 so holiday parks in these areas might open even later than these estimates.
The biggest holiday park companies in the UK are Haven, Pontins, Haulfryn and Parkdean Resorts.
Haven has said it will remain closed until July 2, but from that time will be open, subject to Government guidance.
Pontins will remain closed until next year, whether or not lockdown restrictions are lifted in the coming weeks.
Haulfryn has not confirmed a date when it intends to reopen, but has said it will following the advice from the Government.
Parkdean Resorts will reopen from July 6, but has said this date is subject to Government restrictions.