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UK holidays: When and where can I go… and who with?

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Going abroad is not straightforward at the moment, so what are the rules if you stay in the UK this summer?

Where can I travel in the UK?

You can travel freely between England, Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, the government had to clarify new guidance for eight areas of England where there are high numbers of the Delta coronavirus variant – first identified in India.

Initially people were advised to “avoid” non-essential travel in and out of Kirklees, Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside.

The government later updated the advice, saying people should “minimise” travel into the areas to clarify they were “not imposing local restrictions”.

Separately, the Scottish government has introduced temporary travel restrictions for Bedford, Bolton, and Blackburn with Darwen.

Anyone planning to visit a Scottish island is encouraged to take two lateral flow tests beforehand.

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Can I stay in a holiday home or hotel?

Rules vary around the UK.

In England:

  • All holiday accommodation – including hotels, hostels, B&B, caravans and boats – can open
  • Six people from multiple households, or any number from two households, can stay together
  • You can stay overnight in a private home, subject to the rule of six

Current lockdown restrictions in England

In Wales:

  • All holiday accommodation can re-open fully, but you can only share holiday accommodation with people in your household or extended household
  • Campsite and caravan park communal areas can open, subject to measures ensuring physical distancing and appropriate cleaning
  • You must not meet anyone or stay overnight in a private home who is not in your household/extended household

In Scotland:

All of mainland Scotland is either in Covid protection level one or two.

In these areas:

  • Hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan and campsites can open
  • Six people from three households can share self-catering accommodation
  • You still can’t share a bedroom with someone you don’t live/bubble with

Most Scottish islands have been moved to level zero. In these areas, the limit for sharing accommodation rises to eight people from four households.

Anyone planning a trip to Scottish islands is being encouraged to take two tests – on the day of travel and three days before.

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In Northern Ireland:

  • All holiday accommodation can open
  • Up to six people from two households can stay together overnight (children aged 12 and under not counted)

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When can I go on holiday abroad?

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The government says people should only travel to foreign destinations on its amber list in “exceptional circumstances”.

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When will other restrictions be eased?

England won’t remove remaining restrictions until at least 21 June, although concerns over the Delta variant could delay the date.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she remains confident there will be “much greater normality” over the summer.

In Wales Covid rules eased further on 7 June and will be reviewed again on 21 June.

Covid rules will be reviewed in Northern Ireland on 10 June.

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