When will campsites and caravan parks open in Scotland? Date holiday sites will reopen after lockdown
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Scotland is cautiously and gradually emerging from its coronavirus rules, and people are desperate for a staycation.
Thankfully, it is not long now until Scotland’s domestic tourism sector will be able to reopen.
During her highly-anticipated roadmap out of lockdown announcement back in March, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon included a timeline for when parts of the country’s economy will reopen in April and May.
That included the reopening of tourist accommodation which will allow for campsites and caravan parks to open back up to travellers.
So, when will Scotland’s camping sector reopen?
Here is everything you need to know.
What did Nicola Sturgeon announce?
The First Minister announced the phased reopening of the economy, including shops, hospitality, gyms and hairdressers during her roadmap statement.
She said case numbers in the country had fallen sharply as a result of the tight restrictions, but lifting them was still dependent on suppressing the virus and the vaccine rollout.
The current “stay at home” rule was the first to change, and was replaced by guidance to “stay local” on 2 April.
Further restrictions were then eased on 5 April.
The latest changes then took place on Friday 16 April, as some changes to restrictions were accelerated due to progress in tackling the virus.
Significantly, the travel ban in mainland Scotland eased then, allowing people to travel across the country as long as they do not stay anywhere overnight.
This change had previously been planned for 26 April, but was brought forward in an effort to boost mental health and wellbeing.
However, the change to travel restrictions does not affect when tourist accommodation, including campsites and caravan parks, will be able to reopen.
When will campsites and caravan parks reopen?
The lifting of travel restrictions on the mainland will allow for Scotland's domestic tourism sector to reopen shortly after.
It has now been confirmed that tourist accommodation, including caravan and holiday parks, will be able to reopen on 26 April subject to restrictions.
Also on this date, hospitality venues will be able to serve people outdoors in groups of six from three households until 10pm, with alcohol permitted.
There will also be limited indoor opening of hospitality from then, with the service of food and non-alcoholic beverages until 8pm and for no more than four people from two households.
These restrictions will affect how cafes and restaurants at caravan parks and campsites will be able operate for guests.
From 26 April, all remaining retail premises will also open, along with libraries, museums and galleries.
Ms Sturgeon said time would need to be taken to monitor these "significant changes" carefully, with further steps to be taken in mid-May and then in early June.
What are Scotland’s current travel restrictions?
Holidays are currently not permitted in Scotland during the lockdown.
But thanks to the recent easing of travel restrictions, people are now permitted to travel outside their own local authority area for non-essential reasons, including exercise and socialising.
But it is still illegal to travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK, unless the journey is essential.
Foreign travel is prohibited unless essential.
The self-isolation costs £1750, which covers the government-sanctioned hotel stay, transport and testing.
Ms Sturgeon said international travel will not be able to take place until at least 17 May, but it may not be possible for a further period after that.