HOLIDAY parks and campsites across Dorset and the New Forest have been bombarded with bookings in the run up to summer. 

Since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his four-step 'roadmap' out of lockdown, holiday parks and campsites have been inundated with bookings after it was revealed they could reopen as early as 12 April.

All lockdown restrictions could be lifted by 21 June at the earliest based on certain conditions being met, such as a successful vaccine rollout.

A spokesperson from the booking site CoolCamping said: "We've certainly been much busier than usual.

"Last month was our busiest February on record, with bookings up 500% on last year and the busiest day, perhaps unsurprisingly, coming the day after Boris Johnson announced the roadmap for England.

"The number of bookings we are receiving are the sort of thing we would usually expect in May or June, not February and early March!"

Dorset has seen a surge in bookings, with campsite Frome Meadow in Dorchester is nearly fully-booked for a few weekends in July. 

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Salisbury Journal:

Dorset holiday sites have been busy with bookings. (stock) 

Mr Johnson's roadmap states that self-contained accommodation can reopen at stage two, as early as 12 April. 

A spokesperson for Haven's Rockley Park said: "Following the announcement of the roadmap, combined with the VAT reduction extension until September, we have seen steady bookings over the last few weeks for the summer months as guest confidence starts to return.

"This news meant that we were able to start welcoming our teams back onto parks immediately and have been starting to prepare for reopening, working diligently to ensure we have everything in place to best look after our guests, owners and team across the busy summer months."

Haven have said that they will be continuing with their contactless check-in process, increased cleaning teams on the park and social distancing measures in all public places to ensure they help guests, owners and their team feel safe whilst on holiday.

It is no surprise that holiday makers are flocking to Dorset this year after the county was named one of the top UK holiday hot-spots.  

Rosie Kennar, director of Hoburne Park in Christchurch said: “The government’s roadmap out of lockdown has at last given us all the confidence that we can now plan a summer holiday and have something to look forward to.

Salisbury Journal:

Crazy golf at Hoburne holiday park (Image - Hoburne).

“Towards the end of last year, we anticipated that there would be an increase in demand for UK staycations and since the government announcement, we have seen a surge in holiday bookings on our website.

"We are disappointed to be missing out on the Easter weekend, but we are delighted to finally have a provisional date where we can make the required plans to welcome back our holidaymakers and holiday homeowners, many of whom have been unable to use their holiday homes for some time.”

What are the rules for going on holiday? 

In England, the "stay at home" rule is set to end on 29 March.

But holidays within the UK won't be allowed until 12 April at the earliest.

This is subject to four tests being met - including the vaccine rollout going smoothly and no surge in Covid-related hospital admissions.

If that happens, people can stay away from home with other members of their household, or bubble, in self-contained accommodation, such as a holiday cottage.

Hotels and B&Bs are set to open for holidaymakers in England on 17 May at the earliest.

But guests will have to obey the stage three social mixing rules, which are that a maximum of six people or two households can stay together indoors.

The earliest that all restrictions on mixing could be lifted is 21 June, as part of step four, the final stage of lifting lockdown.

What are the rules for going abroad?

The earliest date people from England will be able to travel abroad for a holiday is 17 May, when the country moves in to step three of its lockdown exit plan.

Again, that's if the government is satisfied the four tests are being met.

At the moment, there are lots of rules for foreign travel, including having to quarantine when you re-enter the UK.

It's not known yet what the rules will be when holidays abroad are allowed again, and Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned it is currently "too early" to book.

Will you be going on holiday in Dorset this summer? Let us know in the comments.