Latest rules you need to know before booking a UK holiday

Holidaymakers in England and Wales can now fly to ‘green list’ countries abroad after travel rules changed.

Guidance on foreign travel has been updated today (Monday, May 17), reopening routes to certain destinations abroad including Portugal.

Some people will still be hesitant to head overseas just yet, however, especially those keen to support the tourism economy closer to home.

Demand for holidays within the UK continues to surge, with many people struggling to find availability at seaside resorts and beauty spots after places were snapped up.

These are the current rules for people from England going on a domestic holiday or crossing the border into one of the devolved nations, correct as of May 17, 2021:

England

Earlier this month a study suggested that Cornwall, Devon and the Yorkshire Dales were the most popular ‘staycation’ choices for domestic holidaymakers.

Rule changes today (May 17) mean that hotels and B&Bs in England are allowed to welcome customers back, after months of only being able to accept essential bookings such as for key workers.

Self-contained accommodation like holiday cottages were allowed to open last month to people staying within their household – but as of today, people can now stay overnight in a mixed group if they follow the rule of six or the two-household rule.



Porthcurno beach in Cornwall under glorious blue skies

The government website states: “All holiday accommodation may reopen. You can stay overnight in a hotel, bed and breakfast, campsite, caravan, boat, second home or other accommodation.

“You may stay overnight in holiday accommodation in groups of up to six, or larger groups if everyone present is from two households (including support bubbles) unless a legal exemption applies.”

Wales

For people in Bristol, Wales has always been a popular destination for day trips and family holidays due to its proximity just on the other side of the Severn.

With a list of gorgeous beaches, castles and breathtaking beauty spots like Snowdonia, it has plenty to offer.



Latest rules you need to know before booking a UK holiday
Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales

As of today, all holiday accommodation in Wales “can reopen fully” after its government downgraded the coronavirus alert level there.

This includes the reopening of shared facilities, such as toilet blocks at campsites.

However, the rules slightly differ to England on who can stay overnight.

The Welsh government guidance states: “You will only be able to share holiday accommodation, including hotel rooms, bed and breakfast accommodation, hostel or bunk house dormitory, holiday home, caravans and tents, with the people you live with in your household and people in your extended household (or anyone who is a carer of a member of the household).

“Your household is able to join together with one other household to form an exclusive extended household…there is no limit on the number of people who can be in an extended household. But only two households can form part of the extended household.”

about extended households here.

Scotland

The coronavirus alert level across the majority Scotland was also downgraded today, allowing mixed groups to stay overnight at holiday accommodation,

In Level 2 areas, which covers most of the mainland, the rules are as follows: “A bedroom should be occupied by members of only one household (or extended household).

“In self-catered or other unregulated (unstaffed) accommodation, in-house socialising rules apply. A maximum of six people from up to three households can socialise in a private dwelling.

“In public spaces within regulated (staffed) tourist accommodation, the rules about socialising in an indoors public place apply.

“In Level 2, a maximum of six people from up to three households can socialise indoors in a public place.”



Latest rules you need to know before booking a UK holiday
Inverness

Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to meet.

The numbers differ slightly in Level 1 locations, which include most of the Scottish islands such as Orkney and Shetland.

There are stricter rules on staying in Glasgow City and Moray, which are still in Level 3 due to higher infection rates – visit the Scottish government’s website for the rules in full.

Northern Ireland

While holiday accommodation including hotels and guest houses are open for single households, this is currently only for tourists from within Northern Ireland.



Latest rules you need to know before booking a UK holiday
Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is a spectacular spot to watch the sun go down

This is due to change next Monday (May 24), when travellers from elsewhere in the UK will be welcomed back.

Up to six people from two households will be permitted to stay overnight together.

Unlike in England, children under the age of 12 do not count towards the rule of six.


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