UK travel: Expert advises on booking summer holidays
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Lockdown restrictions are slowly but surely being lifted throughout the UK as the winter lockdown and vaccination programme success means coronavirus rates are falling across all UK nations. England’s stay-at-home order has now been lifted, with socialising and travelling permitted again.
The roadmap in England has four stages for the reopening of society, and the other UK nations have their own plans in place.
England’s roadmap will see shops and outdoor pubs reopen on April 12, with indoor venues allowed to reopen from mid-May.
The stay-at-home order meant leaving your house without a reasonable excuse could land you with a fine.
But now, new guidance means restrictions aren’t as harsh anymore, but should “minimise travel wherever possible and should not be staying away from home overnight at this stage”.
Can I travel around the UK?
England is currently in Stage One of its roadmap out of lockdown, and the other UK countries are currently at different stages in various strategies.
Stage One has lifted the ‘stay-at-home’ order and replaced it with advice to stay local – other UK countries also have similar advice in place currently.
While ‘stay local’ is a somewhat ambiguous term, travelling across borders is still against the rules.
As it currently stands, travel between UK countries is prohibited, so you are not allowed to holiday or visit family or friends who live in other countries.
The guidance for England reads: “For example, if you are in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, there may be a requirement to stay at home or “Stay Local” where you live, which means you cannot travel to England.”
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are not currently permitting visitors from England or from one another.
The exception to these rules is if you work in one of these countries – but visits for pleasure are not permitted.
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The lockdown guidance for Scotland states: “Under current Scottish law, given the state of the epidemic, unless you have a reasonable excuse (see exceptions) you must not travel between Scotland and England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.”
The Welsh government website states: “People must not travel outside of Wales or enter in to Wales, except for very limited purposes.”
The latest changes made in Wales mean holidays are now permitted – but only within the country, and other UK residents cannot travel into the country.
Self-contained holiday accommodation, including hotels with en-suite facilities, have been allowed to open for people from the same household.
Elsewhere, residents in England can currently meet in groups of up to six, or from two households, in an outdoor setting.
Groups of up two four from two households are currently allowed to meet in Scotland.
In Northern Ireland, six people from two households can currently meet outdoors.
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