20/10/2020
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Coronavirus travel advice for campers in the UK and Europe

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UPDATED 21 December 2021

LATEST: France and Germany introduce new restrictions on people travelling from the UK to combat the spread of the omicron variant

  Camping Homepage

The coronavirus situation is changing on a regular basis. Here is the most up-to-date information about the rules for campers in the UK today.

Page Contents


Introduction to Covid rules

This page is updated regularly and includes the most up-to-date information for camping and travel in the UK and Europe during the pandemic.

For the latest detailed government guidance visit the coronavirus page on the UK government website and the websites for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you are considering a camping holiday in a tent, motorhome, campervan or caravan it’s vital that you plan properly and are aware of all the rules and regulations both here in the UK and in Europe.

With foreign travel guidance being updated regularly and potentially local restrictions in some areas of the UK, it’s important to keep an eye on government advice and only take a trip if it’s safe to do so.

Here you will find everything you need to know about where you can visit with your motorhome, campervan, caravan or tent in the UK and Europe.

If you are planning to travel abroad you should also check the local restrictions in place in the country you intend to visit.


Can I go camping in the UK?

Yes! Camping is currently allowed in all parts of the UK with the removal of the majority of coronavirus restrictions.

• England

Since 17 May 2021, as part the Government's lifting of the national lockdown in England, campsites have been allowed to open and people are now able to take camping holidays. Shared facilities onsite, like shower and toilet blocks, shops and food and drink outlets, can open. These should be cleaned regularly and be well ventiliated and campers are being urged to keep contact with other households to a minimum.

Before you book any campsite, check in advance with individual sites to find out what facilities they will have open and make sure they are allowing tents to pitch. If sites decide to open without shared facilities then you may be allowed to bring your own toilet and shower facilities, but again, check what the site will allow.

• Scotland

Campsites in Scotland were given the go-ahead to reopen after lockdown on 26 April, when overnight stays in tourist accommodation were permitted. Toilets, showers and shared washing and cleaning facilities are all allowed to open

Unrestricted travel within Scotland and between Scotland and England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man is also allowed.

Anyone planning to travel to a Scottish island is encouraged to take a Covid to test before they set off to reduce the risk of coronavirus being brought into island communities. 

• Wales

Campsites in Wales are now open, with toilets, showers and other indoor shared facilities.

Travel restrictions between Wales and the rest of the UK were lifted on 12 April at which point campers from other parts of the UK were able to book sites in Wales – depending on the travel restrictions in place where they live.

• Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, campsites and services for touring caravans, including shared facilities, were allowed to fully reopen from 24 May. Up to six people from two households can stay together overnight (children aged12 or under are not counted)

 


What has been done to make campsites safe?

Rules designed to stop the spread of Covid-19 are still in place at campsites

When campsites reopened after lockdown in summer 2020 there were some changes introduced to ensure the safety of campers and campsite workers. Group bookings were mostly  ruled out for the time being, and social distancing measures were put in place, with pitches spaced further apart than usual on many sites and floor markings in public areas like the toilet blocks, shops, receptions and washing-up areas.

Some sites closed down their shared facilities altogether, but where they remained open additional cleaning regimes and other measures were put in place. These included frequent deep cleaning, staggered visiting times and restrictions on the number people entering the toilets and showers at a time.

Some campsites supply hand sanitising liquid at communal points such as water taps and playgrounds (if they are open). If the site doesn’t provide it, take your own and use it every time.

• Follow the guidance

Of course, camping lends itself to safe holidaying. Motorhomes, caravans and tents are self-contained and being in the open air means that as long as you keep your distance, the risk of infection should be low.

But no matter how many measures are introduced by the campsite owners, it’s down to individual campers to act responsibly and follow all the most up-to-date guidance on mixing with other groups, wearing face masks and hand washing.


Read more here about staying safe and healthy while you're camping


Travelling in Europe during coronavirus

The 'traffic light' system for overseas travel was removed on 4 October 2021 and replaced with a single 'red-list' of restricted countries. Under the changes, the existing green and amber lists were scrapped.

There are no restrictions on taking foreign holidays in non red-list countries but you must check and follow the rules in the country you plan to visit.

New travel rules were introduced in December 2021 to combat the rapid spread of the omicron variant. Even if you are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, in the two days before you travel to England you must now take a Covid test and book and pay for a PCR test to be taken after you arrive.

You can take the test any time after you arrive as long as it’s before the end of day two at the latest. You must quarantine while you wait for your test result.

Before returning to the UK you must fill in a “passenger locator” form and provide contact details and a UK address.

Anyone testing positive will need to isolate for 10 days.

You do not need to take a Covid test or quarantine on arrival in England if you are travelling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, (the Common Travel Area), and you have not been outside of the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days.

Travel rules may differ for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland depending on the decisions of the devolved authorities.

What if I'm not fully vaccinated?

If you are not fully vaccinated, you  need to take a PCR or lateral flow/antigen test (not a free NHS test) before returning to England from any country outside the Common Travel Area

You also need to take tests on day two and day eight after your return and self-isolate at home for 10 days after returning to the UK.

What countries are on the red list?

The UK Government says you should not travel to countries on the red list. Currently there are no countries on the red list.

Travellers returning to the UK from any countries placed on the red list would have to go into quarantine in an approved hotel for up to 10 days and take two Covid tests.

 

 


Travel restrictions by country

Vist the Foreign Office website to find out the current travel rules for the major European destinations for motorhomers and campers.

If you are visiting another country it is important to be aware of the rules that have been put in place by the local authorities there.

Before you book or set off, it is important to know what the current entry requirements are for each of these countries for travellers coming from the UK – just because restrictions have been lifted by the UK government it doesn't automatically follow that the local authorities will allow unrestricted movement from England or other parts of the UK.

The Foreign And Commonwealth Office website details the most up-to-date entry rules for individual countries. but here is a summary of the current rules for the main European destinations for campers and motorhomers.

• AUSTRIA

Travellers who have been in the UK in the previous 10 days must quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Austria unless they are fully vaccinated, including a booster dose, and can show a negative PCR test.

• BELGIUM

The UK is currently classified as red zone (high risk) by Belgium. Fully vaccinated travellers must provide a negative PCR test result on arrival or take a test on day one or two of your stay. You need to quarantine until you receive a negative result. If you’re staying in Belgium for less than 48 hours you must complete a the Belgian Passenger Locator Form, but don’t have to quarantine or take a test. Non-vaccinated people will only be allowed in for essential travel.

• CROATIA

You will need proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test before travelling.

• CZECH REPUBLIC

If you are fully vaccinated you can visit without needing to isolate or take a pre-departure PCR test.

• DENMARK

Fully vaccinated UK residents can enter Denmark without the need to test or self-isolate. Non vaccinated travellers must have a valid reason for visiting and provide proof of a negative PCR test before travel. You will also need to take tests on arrival and isolate for up to 10 days.

• FRANCE

Travel from the UK to France is currently only allowed for essential reasons, even for fully vaccinated travellers. The full list of what is considered essential travel can be found on the French Embassy website but it does not include tourism or holiday visits.

• GERMANY

Since 19 December 2021, the UK has been designated as a 'virus variant' area by Germany and travel is currently limited to British citizens resident in the country. Tourist travel from the UK to Germany is not allowed, regardless of vaccination status.

• GREECE

You will need proof of a negative PCR/antigen test before travelling.

• ICELAND

You can enter Iceland from the UK for any reason if you are fully vaccinated and provide proof of a negative pre-travel PCR/antigen test.

• ITALY

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK don’t need to self-isolate if you also provide evidence of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours before arrival and complete a passenger locator form. Non-vaccinated people must isolate for five days and take a test. Children under 18 do not need to quarantine if they are travelling with a fully vaccinated parent and have a negative test. If you are passing through Italy in a private vehicle for less than 36 hours you don’t need to be tested.

• LUXEMBOURG

UK nationals who are fully vaccinated, have recently recovered from Covid or have a negative PCR test can now visit Luxembourg for any reason.

• NETHERLANDS

The UK is classed as a ‘very high risk country’ by the Netherlands government and even fully vaccinated UK nationals must quarantine for 10 days. Quarantine can be cut short after five days if you produce a negative PCR test.

• NORWAY

Visitors to Norway from the UK must take a PCR test on arrival, regardless of vaccination status. Non-vaccinated UK travellers must quarantine for 10 days.

• PORTUGAL

Fully vaccinated travellers must provide proof of a negative PCR/antigen test result on arrival in Portugal.

• SPAIN

UK travellers to Spain over the age of 12 must present proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test as well as completing a pre-travel declaration.

• SWEDEN

Fully vaccinated people can travel from the UK to Sweden for any reason. Non vaccinated travellers must produce a negative test result.

• SWITZERLAND

If you are fully vaccinated you can visit Switzerland from the UK. Unvaccinated children under the age of 18 are allowed to enter Switzerland if they are accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.


Click here for more information about self-contained camping post lockdown


 

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