Caravan & campsites reopen: Britons could lose money if they book domestic holidays now

Holidays are a hot topic at the moment, with many Britons desperate for a relaxing break away from their home where they have been locked down for the last ten weeks. As the government makes moves to relax some lockdown regulations, there is hope ahead for the reopening of holiday parks, including caravan and campsites.

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As part of Phase 3 of Boris Johnson’s reversal of lockdown, caravan and campsites are hoping they will be given the green light to reopen in July.

Big-name domestic holiday providers including Pontins and Centre Parcs have already announced plans to reopen, and are taking new bookings from hopeful holidaymakers.

Despite this, a travel expert has warned that Britons who book now and are unable to travel later may not be entitled to a full refund.

Speaking on ITV’s This Morning, travel expert Simon Calder explained Britons can “think about” booking, and can even make moves to putting bookings in place, but they should bear in mind the risks.

“At the moment you can not go and stay anywhere, no not even in a tent or caravan. You have to stay overnight at your main dwelling.

“So no one is going anywhere for anything that you could possibly describe as a holiday,” he said.

“Talking to people in the travel industry they are expecting that to be lifted at least in England from perhaps early June.

“Lots of caravan sites are saying they are planning to start up in July.”

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Mr Calder continued: “You can start dreaming about it.

“You can ever start booking, but be warned that quite a lot of accommodation providers are entirely reasonably going to say ‘if you can’t get here because of government restrictions then we are not going to give you a full refund in cash, we will allow you to postpone your booking until later in the year or maybe 2021.’

“You can’t be absolutely certain that you will just get your cash back if you can’t get there.”

The UK tourism industry has already taken a huge hit as a result of the stringent lockdown measures, and VisitBritain believes losses could hit around £11 billion if the lockdown continues into August.

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Britons are being urged to consider a holiday in the UK, in order to help revive the sector.

VisitBritain chief executive Patricia Yates urged: “When Government advice changes and we are once more allowed to roam consider revisiting or exploring somewhere new and having an extra holiday at home.

“Our tourist sector is one of the most vibrant and successful in the world – it needs you to make sure it bounces back once more.”

Centre Parcs is taking reservations for their English sites from June 12, which are set to open on July 5.

Meanwhile, Pontins has unveiled new social distancing plans which it says will make holidays a possibility from July 6.

Although it is good news for those seeking a summer mini-break, new regulations mean that the guest experience may be very different from a typical stay.

Normal activities and entertainment will not take place at the park in a bid to stick to government advised social distancing measures.

Similarly, Haven has confirmed plans to reopen on July 5, with social distancing measures in place for visitors.

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