How to camp safely in the UK during COVID-19

Since reopening our Trowbridge store, we’ve been exceptionally busy at BCH Camping looking after customers old and new who are now ready to go on a camping holiday. Some of the new customers are camping for the first time as Coronavirus scuppers holidays abroad. Some returning customers are topping up on their kit to accommodate longer stays or additional people.
But we know that there are many potential campers who may still be apprehensive about a camping holiday. This could be because they don’t feel convinced that it’s safe, or perhaps because they believe they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the holiday to its full potential due to safety restrictions.
We obviously want couples, groups and families to be able to safely make the most of their camping experience, whether it’s overnight, for a weekend or for a holiday, even if we do find ourselves living through a global pandemic!
Here’s a quick guide on how to camp safely in the UK.

Can we now go camping in the UK?

The short answer is, yes.
Campsites began to open again across the UK during July, with strict social distancing guidelines. Not all campsites have opened though.

When should I book a camping holiday?

Sooner, rather than later! Camping has become extremely popular this summer due to families wanting a quick fix British staycation, so pitches are harder to come by.
Some campsites are also having to reduce the number of pitches available to aid social distancing, so there is higher demand for a smaller supply.
This is not the year to rely on a quick last minute camping break!

Who can I go camping with?

At the time of writing, the guidelines state that only two households can meet in any setting so you would only be able to go camping with people in your own household and those of one other household.
Strictly speaking, up to six people can meet outdoors but if you’re looking for a group camping holiday you will need to research the rules of the campsite you want to visit. Larger camping groups will be out of the question for some time as campsites limit the number of people who can book together to maintain social distancing measures.
Don’t try to find loopholes in the rules on groups by making several small bookings. It’s unhelpful to campsites that desperately want to stay open, and you will only be disappointed when you are told you are not permitted to meet in groups anywhere on the site. Obviously, you should always consider the safety of your fellow campers, and respect the campsite owners’ guidelines.

What social distancing and hygiene measures will be in place on campsites

As with all situations where you come into contact with other people, social distancing is critical to keep campsites open. Many campsites will have one-way systems to adhere to, and you will be expected, as usual, to maintain a distance of at least one metre from people outside of your camping group.
As always, you should make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly, use the hand gel provided at all stations, and keep away from busy places to make your daily return to the campsite safe.

Will I need to wear a face mask on campsites?

Outside of the usual exceptions, you will be required to wear a face mask in any indoor spaces on the campsite, but not in and around your tent. If, however, you should feel it is busy in a particular area, it is advisable to pop your mask on. It would probably be a good idea to carry a mask and hand gel with you at all times on the campsite to cover all eventualities.

Will campsite shared facilities be open during COVID-19?

Each site will have their own rules for the likes of the reception area, cafe and shop, in line with government guidelines. Places such as communal kitchens are unlikely to be open this year, and campsites may be reluctant to open swimming pools.
For showers, toilets and washing up areas, it will depend on the facilities in place. Some sites may be able to allocate a particular shower to a camping group. Alternatively, extra cleaning practices will be in place that require bookings for time slots.
Some campsites may not be able to reopen their toilets and showers at all and only accommodate campers who can bring their own facilities. At BCH Camping we stock the Kampa Khazi Toilet to allow you to have facilities close by and not have to share with other campers.
Of course, if glamping is your thing, chances are your posh abode will be supplied complete with its own en-suite facilities so that you don’t have to fraternise with the great unwashed!

Will check-in procedures change?

An increasing number of campsite bookings are now made and paid for online. This not only means less need for the exchange of cash, but it also allows for a quicker check-in process.
Don’t rely on paying by cash. More and more businesses are now taking card and contactless payments, and this is no different for campsites.
You will need to meet your campsite owner to let them know that you have arrived, and to be directed to your pitch, but you may find them behind a screen, wearing a mask rather than greeting you with a friendly handshake!

Get in touch

These are strange times, but campers are a hardy lot, and generally sensible! A safe, enjoyable camping break is within grasp. Should you need any camping equipment, BCH Camping would be delighted to help, so just get in touch.
Remember, the adventure starts at BCH Camping!