Campsite owners bemoan lack of guidance over reopening
PUBLISHED: 19:00 16 June 2020
Many Suffolk campsites are aiming to reopen at the start of next month - but some have already confirmed they will not be welcoming guests back any time soon.
The government is yet to officially confirm when campsites can open again, though the roadmap unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month suggested some sectors within the hospitality industry could reopen on July 4.
While the coronavirus crisis has forced countless overseas holidays this summer to be scrapped, many owners of Suffolk campsites have said they have been taking bookings for the next few months.
But the absence of official guidance has resulted in a lack of clarity over how campsites will be able to keep their guests safe.
Maria Hindley, who owns the Croft Campsite in Ubbeston with her husband Guy, confirmed her intention to reopen her campsite at the start of next month.
She said the pitches at the site will be large enough for families to enjoy and will be spaced out to aid with social distancing, while toilets will be open.
Mrs Hindley believes the open-aired nature of camping means the risk of guests transmitting Covid-19 remains low.
She said: “There has been lots of interest and bookings. We have been taking bookings all the way through the lockdown. People understand the situation.
“I think a lot of people are wanting to go on holiday now.
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“We’ll still have our campsite running as normal as possible. The measures we have put in place will help keep people safe.”
James Iosbaker, co-owner of St Margaret’s Campsite in Shottisham, said he is “frustrated” at the lack of government guidance - but is still hoping to reopen next month.
Despite the cancellation of regular social activities at the campsite, such as animal feeding, Mr Iosbaker said he has received enquiries from regular customers.
He added: “Being outside means there’s loads of open space for social distancing. I’m surprised campsites haven’t been allowed to open yet.
“We’re doing everything we can to reopen safely. But we’d like to know as soon as possible.”
Alan Stephens, owner of Paradise Barn in Chediston, said he is not planning on taking any more bookings from campers for the rest of the year.
He said: “We have thought about reopening but we can’t risk anything.
“The toilets and the showers are the main issue as they are shared facilities. They’re a problem.
“If anything, we may relax and allow for self-contained caravans later in the year.”
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