Carry on camping as sites allowed to welcome guests
Campers can rejoice as Shropshire's campsites will be able to open from July 4 – as long as communal spaces remain clean and safe.
For the first time since March, those in need of a holiday will be allowed to leave their homes and stay overnight, as the hospitality industry prepares to kick back into action next month.
Tourism bosses in the region have welcomed the news and expect a big demand from customers who have been forced to retreat to their homes during lockdown.
Shrewsbury-based Morris Leisure owns four touring and caravan holiday home parks across Shropshire – in Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Bishop's Castle.
Managing director Edward Goddard said: “We were absolutely delighted to hear the announcement that we can reopen our parks in England on July 4.
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“All our customers and staff have been waiting with bated breath to get going again. There has been huge demand from our customers, but we are conscious about opening with safety and consideration for the local communities, where our parks are located, in mind.”
Morris Leisure also has two caravan parks in Snowdonia, North Wales – in Llanberis and Betws-y-Coed – which must wait until July 13 to reopen due to restrictions by the Welsh Government.
Caravan parks have previously had hopes for July holidays as they are "naturally social distanced".
Many trailers are not only five to six metres apart, but they also have their own self-contained facilities, meaning less risk of contamination than campsites where holidaymakers have to use communal showers and toilet blocks.
Some caravan parks and campsites are even letting wild patches of tall grass grow between pitches to make sure holidaymakers stay two metres apart.
The new ‘wildlife corridors’ are one of many new features being introduced to holiday parks to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.
Spruced up and ready for guests
Another business that is looking forward to reopening is Barnutopia glamping and wedding venue in Llansilin, west of Oswestry, writes Rory Smith.
Having closed their canopy doors on March 23, owners Katrina and Steve Boydon have since been taking on the care and maintenance work of their four furloughed staff, making repairs and repainting
The couple, who featured on ITV’s entrepreneurial show Give It a Year, in 2018, have also had to implement extra precautions to ensure communal areas are as safe as possible.
Katrina said: “There’s not an awful lot we can do differently, as if you clean and launder everything properly in the first place, you shouldn’t need to take many more precautions.
“But we’ve been preparing guidelines stating what we’ve already done and we’ll be giving suggestions to guests on how to socially distance and stay safe.”
With uncertainty having surrounded the official reopening date, Katrina and Steve have been aiming to honour a booking on July 23.
Katrina added: “We’ve been manically postponing and rescheduling weddings and events.
“Everything has been postponed until July 23 for a wedding and we are all hopeful this will go ahead.
“It’s been a very strange few months. We’re normally incredibly busy throughout April and in mid-March a running group came and had a gathering.
“The following weekend we were due to have a horse tack sale which was postponed until November, after that an American group were meant to be coming but that had to be rescheduled too.”