Should I stay or should I go?

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If you are currently staying on a holiday park you may be wondering how recent government guidance on holiday park closures will affect you.  Read on to find out.

  • My wife and I are in our 70s and are currently staying in our caravan holiday home. We don’t want to return to our main home as our daughter and granddaughter, who is unwell, are there and we want everyone to stay safe.  What should we do?

Although the government has ordered all holiday parks to close this does not mean that all caravan holiday homeowners and/or occupiers who are already staying on those parks must leave. The guidance says: “Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so”. What this means in practice is, as yet unclear and every situation will be different. However, if you believe that you have a genuine reason why you are unable to go back to your main residence, you should notify the park owner in writing at once and explain your situation.

Caravan sites which are licensed for permanent, year-round residential use fall within the exception and are allowed to remain open.

  • I am currently staying in my holiday caravan home and have been told by the park owner that the park is shutting down and that I have to leave because of Covid-19. I don’t have anywhere else to go and will be homeless if forced out.  What can I do?

Holiday parks are of course licensed for holiday use only, and it would be a breach of your licence agreement to be using the holiday caravan as your only or main residence. It is unclear at the moment whether the Government guidance above (which allows permanent residential occupiers to remain in their caravans) covers situations where an occupier is unlawfully living in a holiday caravan. We would recommend that you speak to the park owner in the first instance.

  • I live in my main residence, but another household member is unwell, and I am considering going to stay in my holiday caravan home for their safety and mine. Is this allowed under the government guidance?

No.  Unless you work in a critical sector such as medicine or food supply, you must stay at home, subject to a very few exceptions. If you or a member of your household has Covid-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate, which means staying where you are and not going out.  By taking non-essential journeys to a holiday home or elsewhere you risk contracting or transmitting the virus and placing further strain on the NHS.  This could result in people in need being denied care.  As the NHS pleaded in a recent tweet: “We have stayed at work for you. Please stay at home for us.”

  • I am on a holiday park and have been told that the park is going to close, but that I can stay because I come within one of the exceptions. What happens if there is a power cut or I run out of liquid petroleum gas?

Ofgem has stated that they do not expect energy supply to be disrupted as a result of Covid-19 and that energy suppliers and network companies are implementing emergency response measures to deal with safety-critical home visits where needed. If you experience a power cut Ofgem’s advice is to dial 105 (a free phone number) or visit powercut105.com.  Let them know if you are unwell or self-isolating. If you or a member of your household needs additional assistance ask to be added to the Priority Services Register which is maintained by each energy supplier.

  • I am occupying a caravan on a holiday park which has closed. My friend told me he heard that if I don’t leave immediately, the council are going to send the police to remove me.  Is that true?

Current government guidance is to stay at home for all but essential trips and/or for work if you are a key worker (see point 3).  If your personal circumstances mean you fall within the exception set out above, then you may be allowed to remain on the park. However, you should bear in mind that a park operator may have legitimate reasons for asking someone to leave, particularly if they did not have permission to stay on the park in the first place or if they pose a danger to themselves or others.

Contact our expert Lawyers today

IBB’s specialist parks team is on hand to discuss any questions or concerns which holiday caravan owners may have at this challenging time – for more information, please call 03456 381381 or email parks@ibblaw.co.uk.

 

As coronavirus continues to spread across the UK and the globe, IBB’s lawyers are working hard to answer your questions. This is a fast-moving situation and, despite our best efforts, some information here may already be out of date. For the latest updates, please visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus or contact a member of the team.

Useful links:

Staying at home and away from others

Business and premises closures

Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK

Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)