Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): caravan sites and holiday parks

Guidance for campsites, holiday parks, caravan sites, motorhome hire businesses and their users.

27 Mar 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19): caravan sites and holiday parks

Who this guidance is for

This guidance is for campsites, holiday parks, caravan sites and motorhome hire businesses.

It does not cover residential parks (mobile home sites). 

You should also read the guidance for businesses on social distancing.

What needs to be done

Campsites, holiday parks, caravan sites and motorhome hire businesses should:

  • shut with immediate effect to all new holidaymakers, tourers and other visitors
  • ask existing visitors on site or those hiring vehicles for non-essential travel to return home as soon as possible, provided it is safe and practical to do so
  • make sure this advice is clearly communicated and adhered to

We consider visitors returning to their normal place of residence from a holiday or visit elsewhere as essential travel.  

Visitors returning to their primary place of residence, social distancing advice should be followed.

Any visitors who are self-isolating should follow the rules for self-isolating, and then return home provided it is safe and practical to do so. Again, they should following social distancing advice to ensure any risks to themselves or the wider public are strictly minimised.   

Limited exemptions

There are exceptions to the above rules which result in partial, rather than full, closure of businesses. This is in recognition that people live permanently in caravan parks, both residential parks, which are authorised for year round occupation,  and sometimes in holiday parks.

This guidance covers holiday parks, not residential parks. 

Whilst holiday parks are not licensed to be someone’s primary place of residence, we know that there are some occupiers who may not have an alternative place of residence or may not have access to it, for example because it is overseas or rented out.  Some occupiers on holiday sites may also be effectively living on a holiday site permanently, in breach of their contract terms. 

Where a site is, either legally, or effectively, someone’s primary place of residence,  or were occupants are staying in such facilities as interim abodes, and cannot return to their permanent residence they should be allowed to remain on site during this period of lockdown only. 

We also acknowledge that such facilities are also utilised to accommodate the business’s own staff, other essential workers and may be offered to house key workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Sites are asked to look carefully at how to provide for any permanent residents, those who have no other suitable alternative accommodation, for example they may be unable to be in their own home due to flood damage, and others who may have a reasonable need to use these facilities, for example utility or key workers at this time of national emergency.

In establishing where someone’s primary home is, it is reasonable to assume that, in most (but not all) cases, this will be the address at which they are registered with a GP, or on the Electoral Register. 

Closures must not result in people being expelled from their primary residence or interim residence where no alternative accommodation is available or those with a reasonable basis  for being there i.e. staff or key workers.

In agreement with the industry, we ask individual sites to use careful discretion.

In directing enforcement legislation we will ensure such cases are taken into account.

Beyond these exceptional cases, holiday parks should not be operating.

This guidance relates to holiday parks, not to residential parks (mobile home sites), which for the avoidance of are not required to close.      


Following the passage of the Coronavirus Bill on 26 March 2020, closures of campsites and caravan parks, excluding certain exemptions, are now enforceable by law in Scotland due to the threat to public health.

Police Scotland will monitor compliance with these regulations, and have indicated that they will take a reasonable, fair and proportionate approach.    

Length of closure 

Businesses and premises were asked not to open for trade from close on trade 23 March 2020. This request is now supported in legislation.  The Scottish Government will look again at these measures each 21 days from the regulations coming into force, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

Financial support

We fully appreciates the impact that this outbreak is having on the sector, and the tremendous effort underway by businesses large and small to respond to this. 

Details on support available to the holiday and caravan parks and motorhome sector can be found at: