These are the current rules around going on holiday in the UK - and when foreign trips could be allowed

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 4:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 4:18 pm
Overnight stays outside of your home are still not allowed (Photo: Shutterstock)
Overnight stays outside of your home are still not allowed (Photo: Shutterstock)

Across the UK, lockdown restrictions are gradually starting to ease, with people given more freedom to spend time outdoors and meet loved ones from a safe distance.

As freedom of movement becomes slightly more relaxed, many may be looking forward to the prospect of holidaying again, particularly given the current warm weather.

But are holidays allowed yet?

Can I go on holiday in the UK?

Since the UK government relaxed restrictions in May, people in England are allowed to travel to other destinations irrespective of distance.

However, people must not travel to destinations outside of England, as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are each following different government guidance.

Current rules state that day trips to an outdoor space are acceptable, providing you are able to return home on the same day.

As such, an overnight stay away from the place you are living for a holiday, or similar purpose, is not permitted. This includes staying overnight in a second home.

In circumstances where your job requires you to stay away from home, this is acceptable, providing social distancing is maintained.

Hotels and bed and breakfasts still remain closed, except when providing accommodation for specific reasons set out in law, such as for work.

What are the travel rules across the UK?

In Scotland, only recreational trips that are “broadly within five miles” from your home are allowed, and these should be done by walking or cycling wherever possible.

In Wales, people are still advised to stay at home as much as possible and while outdoor exercise can be done more than once per day, it must be done locally.

In Northern Ireland, driving for daily exercise is allowed, although day trips have not been specified in the government guidance.

Instead, people have been urged to “be sensible and limit the number of journeys” that they take.

Indoor gatherings of different households are still banned, but this is being kept under review.

When will holidays be allowed?

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden recently suggested that holidays in the UK could be permitted at the beginning of July, which could see rules change to allow overnight stays.

Self-catering cottages, Airbnb properties, campsites, hotels and holiday parks will still remain closed until at least July.

If the UK government believes enough progress has been made against its five key tests, England could move into phase three of lifting lockdown in July.

In this phase, other parts of the hospitality and leisure sector could be permitted to reopen, including hotels and holiday resorts. However, this phase is not expected to begin until 4 July.

When will foreign holidays be allowed?

Currently, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising Brits against all but essential international travel.

However, the gradual lifting of borders in Europe has been proposed by the EU’s executive to restart the tourist industry.

Spain’s tourism minister confirmed that foreign tourists can book holidays in the country from 1 July, with the mandatory 14 day quarantine rule for foreign tourists to be lifted from this point.

Several airlines have also started announcing plans to restart their flights abroad from July.

Jet2 will restart its flights and holidays from 1 July, along with Ryanair, while easyJet willresume a number of limited flights from 22 airports across the UK and Europe from 15 June.

But, despite plans to restart the tourism industry, the latest FCO advice states that Brits still should not travel abroad, unless the journey is essential.

The UK government has not yet confirmed when travel bans are likely to be lifted.