Plea for 'fresh air hotels' to be allowed out of lockdown

Could caravan getaways be returning sooner than expected?
Could caravan getaways be returning sooner than expected?

Wednesday, 20, May 2020 01:44

By Chris Littley

The director-general of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association has written to the prime minister asking for caravan parks to be allowed to come out of lockdown earlier than other hospitality businesses.

In the letter to Boris Johnson, Ros Pritchard described holiday and touring parks as "fresh air hotels", which should be exempt from the current rules meaning they won't be able to open until July at the earliest.

According to a report in The Independent, she wrote: "Our customers enjoy outdoor holidays in self-contained, self-catering accommodation with full bathroom and kitchen facilities in holiday caravans, chalets, treehouses, safari tents as well as in many touring caravans and motorhomes."

The argument is that social distancing is much easier to achieve in caravan parks than pubs and restaurants, yet the sites have been lumped into the same category by the English government.

In Wales, the roadmap to coming out of lockdown puts accommodation businesses without shared facilities in the same bracket as non-essential retail, enabling them to open sooner.

Ms Pritchard pointed out that for many households who own a caravan, social distancing in it would not be any different in it to the conditions in their primary residence.

If England were to make a concession on accommodation businesses without shared facilities to bring it in line with Wales, caravanners could be enjoying staycations across the nation from June 1st instead of July 4th.

Many caravan owners believe it's unfair that people with beach huts and those with boats can use them in the marina, while motorhomes are still prohibited.

There's no suggestion that caravan parks with shared washing facilities or any on-site clubs, bars or cafes should open up early, just places that can accommodate self-contained leisure vehicles.

Ms Pritchard underpinned her point, adding: "For holidaymakers who rent holiday caravans and other accommodation from us (without shared facilities), we have well developed social-distancing measures which would safeguard against the risk of infection."

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