As the UK Government works to relax current lockdown measures, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has offered new hope for summer holidays for Britons. Though all holidays are off the cards for now, impending changes to regulations regarding overnight stays outside of a primary residence could mean staycation plans may be set to come to fruition.
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Although caravan and campsites have been eagerly working to reopen their doors on July 4, the UK Government has yet to release an official statement on whether this will actually go ahead.
Currently, Britons are now allowed to spend the night at any home other than their primary residence, with the exception of single households who have formed a “social bubble.”
However, the Health Secretary has suggested that this could be set to change in the coming weeks.
When asked about staying at friends and families homes during the Downing Street press conference, Mr Hancock said: “That is another one of the social distancing measures that we are looking at.
“Of course we are looking at it, it’s an important consideration.”
He added that one of the driving factors of the reconsideration was summer holidays.
“Not least because I want people to be able also to have a holiday if at all possible this summer,” Mr Hancock continued.
“And the rules currently prevent people from staying elsewhere overnight unless they have exceptional circumstances.
“So that is something we are looking at, we are working on it.”
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The news comes as campsites and caravan parks across the UK announce new rules for guests when they do eventually reopen.
These include a number of social distancing and hygiene measures.
National holiday park Haven has unveiled its new “Haven Caravan Cleanliness Guarantee” (HCCG) which will see every caravan on-site cleaned for 20 percent longer.
A cleanliness seal will also be placed on caravan doors to ensure the accommodation is not contaminated.
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If the caravan is not cleaned to the standard the caravan park has set out, guests have two options.
Campsites will also implement new measures for guests who are visiting with tents.
These include marking out specific areas where they can set up camp.
Ros Pritchard, director-general of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) explains: “You have to have this two metres of distance so we came up with the idea that you just leave two metres un-mown because that gives the visual indication of space that some people can’t imagine.
“We’ve already done wildlife corridors on the margins and through our parks so it’s just extending these to two metres.”
However, while domestic holidays are in sight, it remains unclear when foreign travel might resume.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against all nonessential travel, and though it says measures are “under constant review”, offers no end date for the restrictions.
“Air bridges” are currently being negotiated by the government with countries that are deemed advantageous to the UK economy.
A government source has also suggested that the initial deals could be announced in the coming weeks.
The source said yesterday: “The plan is to announce a small number of air bridges on June 29, though it won’t come into force until July 4.
“Obviously, it will depend on factors such as the scientific advice and the level of coronavirus infections at the time.
“The Foreign Office will also have to change its travel advice before then because that remains a block on people going abroad for holidays.”
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