Are half-term breaks in the UK permitted?

The introduction of the three-tier system in England means there is different travel advice for different areas of the country.

With half-term approaching, the PA news agency looks at the current restrictions in place for those planning a staycation.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

– What restrictions apply in Tier 1?

In areas classed as medium risk in England, people are allowed to go on holiday to other areas and stay overnight.

While the rule of six applies, people can stay in a hotel or similar with another household, but should avoid sharing rooms with people they do not live with.

There are no restrictions on how far you are allowed to travel for a holiday.

However, guidance states that people should avoid travelling to an area under Tier 3 restrictions where possible.

– Will I be able to go away if I live in a Tier 2 zone?

Those living in Tier 2 – alert level high – are advised to reduce the number of journeys they take where possible.

People can still go on holiday to places outside of high alert areas, but should only do this with people in their household or support bubble.

– What about in Tier 3?

People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are a resident living in a very high alert level area.

Government guidance asks people not to leave the area to stay in a second home, adding that those in Tier 3 areas must not stay with anyone they do not live with elsewhere in the UK or visit their property.

Residents are also advised to avoid travelling outside of their area, except for things like work, education or caring responsibilities.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

Those who live elsewhere are also advised to avoid staying overnight in Tier 3 areas.

– Can I visit Wales?

A travel ban preventing people from areas of the UK with high levels of coronavirus from entering Wales will come into force from 6pm on Friday.

This includes those from areas in England in Tier 2 and Tier 3, the central belt of Scotland, and the whole of Northern Ireland.

Please see the heatmap shown in the press conference today⬇️ pic.twitter.com/dC8IL9Oxun

— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) October 16, 2020

Travel in Wales is already restricted, with holidays in areas under local restrictions only permitted by people who already live there.

Residents of those areas are not allowed to leave for non-essential reasons, such as going on holiday in another region.

– What about Scotland?

The Scottish Government said it is “not imposing mandatory travel restrictions at this stage” and pre-booked trips do not need to be cancelled.

But, similarly to Wales, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government is considering a travel ban for visitors from high-risk areas within the UK.

Residents in the central belt of Scotland are advised to “think carefully about whether they need to travel outside of the region they live in”.

Coronavirus – Thu Oct 15, 2020
Residents in the central belt of Scotland are advised to ‘think carefully’ about whether they need to travel outside of their region (Andrew Milligan/PA)

You can only stay in self-catered accommodation such as caravans, apartments and holiday cottages with your own household.

Spending the night in a hotel or B&B is only allowed if people from different households do not share rooms.

– What are the rules in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland will enter a period of intensified coronavirus restrictions from 6pm on Friday.

No unnecessary travel is being advised, while overnight stays in a private home are not permitted unless in a bubble.

– What happens if I am contacted by NHS Test and Trace while on holiday?

If you are told you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you should self-isolate, alert your accommodation provider and return home as soon as possible.

If public transport is the only available option to get home, you should call 111 for advice.

– How about if I become unwell?

People who develop coronavirus symptoms while on holiday are advised to self-isolate in their accommodation.

If that is not possible, they should travel home in a way that minimises the risk of infecting others.

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