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

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UPDATED 4 October 2021

LATEST: Green and amber list scrapped and vaccinated UK travellers no longer need to take a test before returning home

 

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.

If you have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus or are under the age of 18, you no longer need to take a Covid test before travelling back to England from a non red-list country.

All travellers (except under fives) will still need to book and pay for a PCR test two days after their return, but from the end of October, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to replace this with a cheaper lateral flow test.

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 and take a PCR test, at no additional cost, to help identify and track new variants.

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. So far, no other UK nation has fully confirmed details of its travel plans.

What if I'm not fully vaccinated?

If you are not fully vaccinated, you still 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?

Currently there are seven countries on the red list. The UK Government says you should not travel to countries on the red list.

Travellers returning to the UK from countries on the red list have to go into quarantine 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

You must provide either proof of vaccination, evidence of a current negative test, or proof of recovery from Covid. If you are fully vaccinated you don’t have to self-isolate or register on arrival. If you cannot provide proof of vaccination, you must present a negative test or proof of recovery from Covid, and self-isolate for 10 days. If you are passing through Austria without a stopover, you do not need a medical certificate or pre-travel clearance form.

• 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

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK can viist France if they provide proof of vaccination and complete a déclaration sur l’honneur form saying they have no coronavirus symptoms. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to have an essential reason to travel to France. Children aged 12 or over who are not fully vaccinated and travelling with a fully vaccinated adult must have a negative PCR test result but won’t need to self-isolate on arrival.

• GERMANY

You can enter Germany from the UK for any reason if you are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated children under can visit without a negative test as long as they travel with at least one fully vaccinated parent but have to quarantine for five days. If you’re not fully vaccinated you cannot currently visit Germany from the UK, must complete a pre-departure digital registration

• GREECE

You will need proof of vaccination or 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 are not allowed to visit Luxembourg for non-essential purposes.

• NETHERLANDS

The UK is classed as a ‘very high risk country’ by the Netherlands government. Fully vaccinated UK nationals do not need to quarantine but must provide a negative PCR/antigen test result on arrival. Children aged 13 and over who are not fully vaccinated must self-isolate for 10 days.

• NORWAY

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

• 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

The Swedish government has imposed an entry ban on travel from the UK to Sweden except for essential reasons. No restrictions apply if you travel to Sweden directly from Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Norway.

• 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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