Coronavirus may make Britain a nation of happy campers after health officials said campgrounds or caravan parks could prove to be a lower risk than a hotel for a vacation.
Assistant chief physician, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said it is a “biological truth” that being safer outside is than being in an enclosed space with people who may be carrying the virus.
It comes after the government said that overseas vacations will continue to be ‘unlikely’ this summer, and after major holiday park operators in the UK have unveiled their latest plans.
During the press briefing in Downing Street, Prof. Van-Tam and Secretary of Transportation, Grant Shapps, were asked if campsites could reopen earlier than other forms of vacation accommodation.
Prof. Van-Tam promised to “think carefully” about the steps needed to reopen campsites and caravan parks.
“It is absolutely a biological truth that outdoor environments pose much less risk than indoor environments,” he said.
But he added, “Of course you have to think about that, because sharing a tent is a small enclosed space or can be a small enclosed space with generally poor ventilation conditions and I think it depends on who you share it with .
“It’s the same for a caravan, so it’s not as easy as it sounds – inside versus outside, hotels versus camping, it’s a bit more complicated than that.”
“I’ll think about that,” he said.
Mr. Shapps emphasized that it is still forbidden to stay overnight other than in your own home.
The government’s 50-page closing plan does not provide specific dates for the reopening of holiday parks – except that it will be no earlier than July 4.
Last month, the Secretary of Transportation caused an outrage from the travel industry when speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program on April 17 about consumers unsure whether to book a trip, he said, “I won’t be booking a summer vacation here let’s put it this way. “
He added that people want to “see the pathway of this disease in the coming weeks.”
Abta, representing British travel agencies, reacted angrily to the interview.
It said, “It was thoughtless and not based on facts about what we know today about the future of the pandemic, but it shows utter disregard for the British travel industry, the hundreds of thousands of people it employs and the struggles it faces with this current crisis.
“It would be better if the government were to focus on taking the necessary steps to support the sector rather than undermine confidence in the sector.”
What do individual caravan sites and holiday parks say?
Remote Resorts: All parks will be closed in the near future and new bookings will not be accepted until July 3.
The Camping and Caravanning Club: All sites are closed for now, but hope to reopen the campgrounds from July 4 as part of phase three.
Caravan Club: The company plans to introduce a phased reopening of its site network in July.
Flower of May: All parks are closed.
Port: All sites are closed until May 31.
Hoeseasons: Does not accept bookings for holidays arriving on or before June 30.
Holidaylettings.co.uk: The company will review its travel policy after July 1.
John Fowler Holidays: All parks are closed until May 14, but this will likely be extended.
Holiday parks in Lyon: All parks are closed until at least May 28.
Park Dean Resorts: All parks are closed until at least mid-May.
Park Holidays: Bookings can only be made online after May 14.
Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks: All of our parks are now closed to holiday guests and the company is currently planning to reopen on June 1.