Can I have a holiday in the UK? Coronavirus travel rules explained

Roshina Jowaheer
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From Good Housekeeping

The information in this story is accurate as of 23 June 2020. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and the latest advice, visit the government's website.

With the recent warm weather and travel abroad still off the table, many Britons are wondering when it will be safe to make the most of the summer temperatures and go on holiday in the UK.

On 23 June, Boris Johnson announced that from 4 July "most leisure and tourist attractions will reopen if they can do safely" in England.

The two-metre rule will be reduced to one and hotels, holiday apartments, caravan parks and campsites will be allowed to reopen.

Openings will be subject to shared facilities being kept clean, with swimming pools and spas remaining "closed for now."

Until the 4 July, are day trips allowed in the UK?

Since the relaxing of lockdown restrictions on 11 May, the government has allowed people to spend time outdoors sitting, enjoying the fresh air, picnicking or sunbathing.

The guidance says there are no restrictions on how far people can travel during lockdown for outdoor activities. It states: "You can travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance. You shouldn’t travel with someone from outside your household unless you can practise social distancing - for example by cycling."

This means that trips to beaches, parks and other open spaces are currently allowed, although there have been reports of crowded beaches and parks since the easing of restrictions, which could make social distancing a challenge.

"Day trips to outdoor open space, in a private vehicle, are permitted," the government guidance states.

However, these measures apply in England and people in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

In Wales, the message remains for people to 'stay local.' The Welsh government says: "Many attractions and beauty spots (including car parks and public toilets) remain closed.

"Given the improving picture, Ministers will lift the stay local requirement on 6 July, if the conditions permit."

From 29 May in Scotland, people were allowed to spend more time outdoors. The Scottish government said: "There are no restrictions on the length of time you can be outside, but strict physical distancing and hygiene measures should be followed and please stay local to your home, which we recommend is up to five miles."

Northern Ireland allows groups of up to nine people to meet outdoors for non-contact activity as long as the two-metre rule is followed. It says: "You should avoid visiting places such as seaside resorts and popular beauty spots whenever there is a chance that large numbers of people will converge and crowds will form."

Can I travel for a holiday in the UK?

While day trips are currently allowed in England, staying anywhere other than your primary residence is not permitted until 4 July.

The guidance says: "Leaving your home - the place you live - to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes."

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If you're wondering whether this applies to hotels, Airbnbs, self-catering cottages and B&Bs, restrictions are in place which prevent overnight stays at all holiday accommodations until the reopening date.

"Premises such as hotels and bed and breakfasts will remain closed, except where providing accommodation for specific reasons set out in law, such as for critical workers where required for a reason relating to their work," the government says.

What about camping?

Campsites are also closed, which means camping is not allowed, but they can open from 4 July, along with caravan parks.

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The shared facilities will need to be kept clean in order to reopen.

When will holidays in the UK resume?

Holidays in the UK will recommence from 4 July, with people in England allowed to stay overnight in hotels, holiday apartments, campsites and holiday parks.

In Wales, holidays are set to start from 6 July, while Scotland has given a provisional date of 15 July and Northern Ireland has given 20 July for hotels and other accommodation to open

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