Camping, caravanning & holiday accommodation

In preparation for the camping, caravan sites and holiday accommodation starting to re-open, below is some key guidance and information to help businesses with the planning for re-opening.

The government road map has confirmed that self-contained accommodation can re-open on 12 April 2021. This would include holiday homes, caravan sites, and other facilities which have exclusive facilities for the same family unit. If shared facilities are required such as shared shower blocks / hostel dormitories, these premises can reopen on the 17 May 2021. This is likely to include camping facilities if a site only has shared toilets, and welfare facilities. The above dates are only guidelines by the government, i.e. the earliest ‘possible’ date and guidance on this area may change.

The arrangements for caravan and camping sites fall under two categories, licenced sites, and unlicensed or exempt sites. All camping, caravanning and holiday accommodation activities are captured by the Health and Safety at Work etc, Act 1974, and Public Health Act 1936 regardless of the sites planning or licensing status, and this legislation is enforced by the Environmental Health Department, along with Legislation to ensure that businesses operate safely during the pandemic.

Below are some key issues which you will need to consider, especially if you are intending to open an exempt / unlicensed site.

Please note: the following provides examples, it is not intended as an exhaustive list of areas to consider or a list of all potential hazards and controls relevant to your site. It is provided as an aide and information source to refer to when carrying out your site specific assessment

Camping site licence or caravan site licence

If you allow your land to be used as a camping site by the public for more than 42 days consecutively - or 60 days in a year, you require a licence from the District Council. Further details are available from the licencing team.


The government guidance on controlling the risks from coronavirus may change prior to premises opening on the 12 April or 17 May 2021. The Government has created guidance on the Visitor Economy, Hotels and other guest accommodation

Key issues which will apply to all premises is all sites must have appropriate welfare facilities including exempt sites.

Drainage and sanitation

All site providing camping and caravanning facilities must have appropriate arrangements to maintain adequate Public Health measures. These requirements below apply to all sites, including exempted camping site.

Satisfactory provision should be made for foul drainage, either by connection to a public sewer or sewage treatment works or by discharge to a properly constructed septic tank or cesspool with a satisfactory means of disposal of contents approved by the local authority.

Properly designed disposal points for the contents of chemical closets should be provided, with an adequate supply of water for the sole purpose of cleaning the containers.  These should be marked up as “NOT TO BE USED FOR DRINKING WATER”.  The method of disposal of contents should be to the satisfaction of the local authority.

For movable dwellings (tents) communal toilet/sanitary blocks/porta-loos/cabins should be provided (where permitted), with adequate supplies of water, with facilities on at least the following scales –

MEN               1 W.C. and 1 Urinal per 30 movable dwellings (tents) or part thereof;

WOMEN        2 W.C’s per 30 movable dwellings (tents) or part thereof;

2 Wash Hand Basins (hot water is only obligatory on sites of more than 50 movable dwellings) for each sex per 30 movable dwellings (tents) or part thereof.

A shower or bath should be provided on sites of more than 50 movable dwellings on the scale of 1 Shower or Bath (with hot and cold water) for each sex per 50 movable dwellings (tents) or part thereof.

No movable dwellings should be erected within 9 metres of any cesspool, septic tank or foul water soakaway or communal toilet/sanitary convenience.

Where the provision of W.C’s is-not feasible chemical closets shall be provided on the following scales -

MEN               2 chemical closets per 15 movable dwellings or part thereof;

WOMEN        4 chemical closets per 15 movable dwellings or part thereof;

Refuse disposal

Every movable dwellings standing should have an adequate number of suitable non-combustible refuse bins with close-fitting lids.  Arrangements should be made for the bins to be emptied regularly and the contents properly disposed of.  Where communal refuse bins are also provided these should be of similar construction and housed within a properly constructed bin store.

Covid Requirements within shared areas

  • Ensuring indoor spaces are well ventilated by opening windows etc.
  • Any office / reception environment must be covid secure
  • Increase cleaning within welfare area
  • Assign one group of washing and showering facilities to one household until the 17 May 2021
  • After the 17 May 2021 further guidance may become available however where showers and toilets are shared, setting clear use and cleaning guidance to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items and that social distancing is achieved as much as possible.
  • Consider introducing a system of staggered entry and booked timeslots for using shower facilities.
  • Close indoor shared facilities, including: communal kitchens, where guests prepare their own food and other indoor communal areas where social distancing can’t be managed within current government guidelines.
  • Ensure that shared facilities like water points, waste points or washing up points are cleaned regularly. A hand washing poster at these locations is recommended.
  • You also need to consider the risk from Legionella / Slips and Trips generally within the welfare facility / burns from showers being too hot etc. – thermostatic valves to regulate temperature / and interlocks on dryers and washing machines (i.e. the equipment will not work if the door is open).

Site layout – fire safety

The layout of the site is significant to prevent the risk of fire spreading between units. Every licenced sites should review their licensing conditions, these conditions should be available on each premises, if you require a copy please contact the Council. Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service have Business Safety Advisors who can give free help and advice in relation to fire safety. They can be contacted at

Fire safety responsibilities - If you own, manage or operate a business, you will need to comply with fire safety law. The main law is the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which places a duty upon the Responsible Person for the premises to undertake a fire risk assessment and act upon its findings. Control Measures - Ensure tents and caravans are spaced sufficiently (6 metres) to maintain social distancing, and to provide a fire break between units. You should ensure that no more than 75 tent pitches per hectare or 30 tent pitches per Acre 

You also need to ensure that suitable firefighting equipment is available, and that arrangements for raising the alarm is satisfactory.   

Further business guidance:

Further guidance for visitors and public using campsites is available here:

Further guidance for holiday lets.

Disposable BBQ’s pose a risk of wild open fires and should not be used in the Countryside

Carbon monoxide

Public information surrounding carbon monoxide (CO) should be displayed around the site to inform the public of the risk. Solid fuel appliances such as disposable BBQ’s used within an enclosed space can pose a safety risk within tents, camping pods, caravan awnings etc.

If you are also renting accommodation which contains gas equipment, this must be checked every 12 months to ensure the equipment is safe. Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Further guidance: Carbon monoxide, BBQ and fire safety advice on / Carbon monoxide (CO) can kill on the Camping and Caravan Club website / BBQ Safety on Gas Safe Register website Disposable BBQ’s pose a safety risk inside an enclosed space such as tents / awning or other indoor environments.

Electrical safety

A member of the public can get an electric shock from a damaged or unsafe electrical installation (i.e. sockets / hook-up point), or unsafe damaged electrical equipment (i.e. hair dryer)

A site must be able to demonstrate that the electrical installation and equipment is safe. This will usually involve visual and physical checks periodically by a qualified electrician or competent person. I.e. a weekly visual check by the site, and periodic check by an electrician.

LPG –storage of cylinders

The bulk storage of gas cylinders is fire / explosion risk, and therefore arrangement must be in-place for safety namely:
  • Storage facility suitably sited - away from buildings and drain gullies.
  • Kept locked
  • Free from overgrown vegetation
  • Adequate size to meet site requirements (no stacking of cylinders)
  • No cylinder storage outside the cage
  • Warning signage displayed
  • No smoking

Further information is available at: UK LPG / How to safely store your gas bottle on the Calor website

People and vehicle movements around the site

You need to think about how the public will move around the site, as pedestrians and within vehicles to ensure safety this will include:
  • Providing clear zones (i.e. play areas / paths / vehicle routes etc.)
  • Separating vehicle movements and peoples where possible
  • Maintaining routes in good repair
  • Speed limits around the site
  • Lighting
  • Providing any steps with hand rails or other measures.

Further Information sources:

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Gas Safe register

British Holiday and Home Parks Association(BH&HPA)

National Caravan Council

The Caravan and Camping Club

The Caravan Club Limited

NCC Training Acadamy

Fire Industry Association

Liquid Gas UK

Contact details:

Contact:Environmental Health