Brits desperate for a break were offered a ray of hope when Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of lockdown on 22 February.
The Prime Minister told MPs how restrictions in England, in place since early January, will be gradually relaxed, and highlighted dates for self-catering accommodation and campsites to reopen.
Holidays of all types are currently not possible due to current coronavirus lockdown rules, which includes a domestic travel ban for leisure purposes.
But with the pace of the vaccination process, coupled with falling infection rates and hospital admissions, we now have hope that holidays will go ahead this summer – at least within the UK.
Hotspots like Cornwall have already seen a surge in interest, with many looking at camping and caravan breaks - but when will these sites reopen?
Let’s take a look.
Why are campsites closed?
Following a rise in infection rates and hospital admissions over the festive period, the UK government enforced a national lockdown to limit the spread of the deadly virus.
Prime minister Boris Johnson made the decision on Monday 4 January to restrict people’s movements, leading to the temporary closure of campsites, caravan sites and holiday parks.
It is not the first time holidaymakers have had their plans disrupted following lockdowns in 2020 used to control the virus and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed.
When will campsites reopen?
According to the roadmap announcement, travel within England could be permitted by 12 April as part of the second stage of lockdown easing.
Self-contained holiday accommodation, like self-catering lets and campsites, could open from 12 April, allowing single households to stay overnight. Indoor facilities will not be allowed to be shared between more than one household, so you won’t be able to go on holiday with friends and extended family.
Hotels could be allowed to open from 17 May for up to two households.
Group holidays and hotel stays will be allowed to go ahead as normal from 21 June, by which point all legal limits on social contact will be removed, according to the roadmap.
People will also be allowed to go on day trips to attractions such as zoos and theme parks from 12 April, although visiting pubs and restaurants won’t be permitted until 17 May.
When can I book a holiday?
Many campsites in England were taking bookings from as early as March prior to the roadmap being revealed.
Any bookings may be cancelled if overnight stays for leisure purposes are not permitted, though that hasn't stopped some Brits desperate for a change of scenery after the locked down winter months.
Cornwall and the south-west region have proven to be very popular with many Brits eyeing a staycation this year.
It still hasn’t been confirmed whether foreign holidays will be able to go ahead in the spring or summer, however Johnson will make another announcement about this on 12 April.
What are the four tests?
The four new tests which the government will use to decide whether the country can progress to each stage are:
- The vaccinations programme continues successfully
- Data shows that the jabs are effective in reducing hospital numbers and deaths in those inoculated
- Infection rates do not risk a rapid increase in hospitalisations, which would result in pressure on the NHS
- The government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of the virus which cause concern.
The government has said the tests are currently being met so the first stage of the roadmap will go ahead on 8 March.