As the nights get longer and the rain subsides, summer staycations are in the spotlight. The government’s plan to relax lockdown remains on track. But how do you know if your holiday is definitely safe?
Rules are constantly changing, and it can be difficult to figure out exactly where you can go, and who you can go on holiday with. Each part of the United Kingdom has its own set of restrictions and these are also broken down by area.
Let’s take a look at the best way to check that your staycation won’t be affected this summer.
What Are the Rules on UK Travel?
For most of us, the government and devolved administrations have removed the most restrictive rules around travel and holidays after the early 2021 lockdown. Most of us can now see family and friends, and hospitality has largely reopened. That’s great news for anyone who was hoping to use indoor facilities or restaurants.
Still, we’re likely to see more changes as we move through the summer.
Where Can I Stay?
In England, most accommodation is open and available to book, including hotels, B&Bs, and caravan sites.
Since the first set of restrictions were lifted in April, there’s been strong demand for self-contained, self-catering accommodation, and this remains an excellent choice for anyone who wants to limit their risk. Shared facilities on holiday parks have reopened, and there’s also the option to keeping to your own bubble if you prefer that.
Some areas in England are likely to move in and out of local restrictions, similar to the tier system that we were used to at the end of 2020. Keep a close eye on the Gov.UK Coronavirus page since this is the best place to find updated travel information for England.
In Scotland, tiers are also operating. Some areas are in Level 3, meaning that people should not travel there (or leave) for a holiday due to the relatively higher risk. This could also change at any time.
Who Can I Stay With?
The rules on who you can holiday with are variable by country as well, so it’s wise to check this in detail. Most hotels and resorts will check that you’re complying with the rules and may void your booking if you don’t get this right.
In England, you’re permitted to take holidays with one other household, and there’s no maximum cap on the number of people who can get together. If you’re planning a multi-household trip in England, you’ll face a maximum cap of 6 people holidaying as a single unit.
If you’re planning a trip within Wales, you can only stay with your own household for now, but this may change as we move through summer.
And in Scotland, the rules are different again. In self-catering accommodation, there’s a maximum of six people from three households except for the Glasgow area which does not allow people to mix indoors at all.
Northern Ireland allows six people from two households to stay together overnight. Children aren’t counted towards this total.
What Can I Do on My Holiday?
If your children have been climbing the walls during lockdown, the good news is that many indoor activities are open once more. Museums can open, and cinemas are back, giving you more options for a rainy day.
Families can dine indoors or outdoors, and that’s another important relaxation in the rules that’s made UK staycations more appealing for families.
In terms of activities, you can get together with up to 30 people outdoors in England which makes camping trips an option for large families.
Again, the limits are a little stricter in Wales.
Is Your Travel Insurance Valid?
Now more than ever, good travel insurance is an essential component in your summer staycation. The good news is that some insurers will cover you as long as you adhere to the restrictions. Find out more about UK travel insurance that will cover you for cancellation so you have complete peace of mind.