Travelling in the UK under lockdown

Can I travel to other parts of the UK under lockdown?

By Mehdi Punjwani Tuesday 20 October 2020
 

The government has introduced a new tier system for local restrictions within the UK. With half-term on the horizon, you may be wondering how this affects your travel plans if you were thinking of taking a local trip

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What is the tier system for local restrictions in the UK?

The new tier system refers to three local COVID alert levels, which are as follows:

  • Tier one, or local COVID alert level: medium
  • Tier two, or local COVID alert level: high
  • Tier three, or local COVID alert level: very high

You can find out the restrictions of a local area on the government website’s postcode checker.

Where can I travel in England?

If you live in England in an area in tier one, or local COVID alert level medium, the following rules apply:

  •  You can go on holiday anywhere else in England that is also in tier one
  • You can stay in private accommodation if you’re with people from other households so long as you remain socially distanced – but only in groups of six and under, unless your own household or support bubble had more than this
  • You can also stay in a bed and breakfast or hotel with another household, but try to avoid sharing rooms with anyone who isn’t in your household or support bubble
  • You should try to avoid sharing a vehicle with anyone outside your household or support bubble

If you’re in an area in tier two, or local COVID alert level medium:

  • The government advices you should aim to ‘reduce the number of journeys you make where possible’
  • You can holiday in other parts of the UK but you can’t share accommodation with anyone outside of your household or support bubble
  • You cannot socialise with people outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor environment
  • If you are visiting an area in tier two you can find the local COVID rules for that area

If you’re in an area in tier three, or local COVID alert level medium:

  • You should avoid travelling outside of your local area unless you need to for work, education or proving care
  • You should not visit any other parts of the UK, whether it’s private or guest accommodation
  • You can stay in accommodation in your local area, but you should only do this with people in your household or support bubble

Can I travel from England to Wales

If you’re in a tier one area you can, but if you’re in a tier two or tier three area you will not be allowed to enter Wales.

Can I travel from England to Scotland

You can travel to any part of Scotland unless local restrictions tell you otherwise.

Where can I travel in Wales?

If you live in Wales, local travel will depend on your local area restrictions.

  • You aren’t allowed to travel to any areas with local restrictions in place
  • If you live in one of these areas, you cannot travel to anywhere else in Wales or the rest of the UK

From 6pm Friday 23 October, all of Wales will go into a circuit-breaker lockdown to stop the spread of coronavirus. This will be in place until the start of Monday 9 November 2020, and it means a number of restrictive measures will be in place across the country with no movement in or out.

During this time:

  • You must remain at home, except for very limited reasons
  • You cannot visit other households or meet with people outside your household
  • Bars, restaurants and most shops will be closed
  • Secondary schools will provide online learning for the week after half-term, except for those in years seven and eight
  • Primary schools and childcare settings will remain open
  • Face coverings will still be mandatory in indoor public spaces that stay open, including taxis and public transport

Where can I travel in Scotland?

You’ll be able to travel to any area within Scotland unless local travel restrictions say otherwise.

  • If you live in the central belt region, from Glasgow to Edinburgh, you shouldn’t travel anywhere outside of your area
  • If you live anywhere else in Scotland you should not travel to anywhere within this region unless necessary
  • You can’t visit or stay overnight in any other households
  • You can stay in private accommodation but only with people in your own household
  • You can stay in guest accommodation but you can only share rooms with people in your own household
  • You should avoid travelling to areas in England with local restrictions in place – particularly Blackpool, which was linked to a ‘large and growing’ number of cases in Scotland

Where can I travel in Northern Ireland?

If you live in Northern Ireland and there are no local restrictions in your area, you can travel to other parts of the UK so long as you follow the local rules. You aren’t allowed to mix indoors with people in other households or support bubble, nor can you stay overnight.

Travelling in the UK: FAQs

What happens if I have to cancel my holiday because I’m self-isolating?

According to the association of British travel agents (ABTA) has advised that this is strictly speaking your fault, so the travel company can’t be held responsible. The final decision will ultimately be down to them.

Will travel insurance cover me for COVID-19?

Some travel insurers are offering more flexible policies, which can cover cancellation and curtailment resulting from falling ill or having to self-isolate. You should always compare policies and read the terms and conditions to know what you’ll be covered for.

What happens if get COVID-19 while on holiday

If you get coronavirus while on holiday in the UK or develop any symptoms, it may be difficult to follow the guidance to self-isolate for at least 10 days. Your holiday provider may allow you to stay in the accommodation while you need to self-isolate, but you’ll likely need to pay for this.

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