The government has set out new regulations regarding COVID-19 which will be implemented from 4th July onwards. As some will be happy to hear, these updated rules will mean relaxed travel restrictions both within and outside of the UK. Read on to discover whether your summer travel plans might be back on the books.
Travel within the UK
From 4th July you will be able to travel within England regardless of distance. Hygiene and safety precautions must still be taken and people should still be avoiding public transport. Where possible, you should cycle, walk or drive to your destination. If you absolutely must travel via public transport, it is now a legal requirement that face coverings must be worn at all times.
It is not possible to maintain social distancing while travelling in the same car as someone outside of your household or support bubble. For this reason, you should avoid travelling with these people unless you can practice social distancing, e.g. by cycling.
If you are travelling within the UK to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you must follow the rules of the country you are visiting. If you do travel internationally to any of these places, you must also follow the FCO’s international travel guidance. Upon returning to the UK (other than those with agreed travel corridors, discussed further in this article) you must self-isolate for 14 days in order to combat the spread of COVID-19 across borders.
From 4th July, you will be allowed to spend the night away from your home. This includes visiting a holiday or second home. Similarly, bed and breakfasts and hotels will be able to reopen from this date. This is allowed only in groups of up to two different households, with support bubbles classifying as a house. You must continue to maintain social distancing with anyone outside of your home or support bubble. As well as upholding hygiene standards through washing your hands and surfaces, you should avoid using any facilities like bathrooms which are shared with people outside of your group.
Scientific evidence has shown that when domestic transmission is high, cases from abroad only represent a small portion of the overall total, having no significant impact on the epidemic. Now that other countries are easing their lockdown restrictions and domestic transmission within the UK is coming under control, the government has decided to prepare new measures at the border. This means that upon arriving in the England, you must not leave the place where you are staying for the first 14 days of your stay. Those who will be self-isolating in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland should familiarise themselves with the UK country they are self-isolating within and follow their rules. You must also complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive in the UK.
You might be refused entry into the UK if you are not a British citizen, or fined if you fail to provide your contact details or do not self-isolate upon your arrival in the UK. This fine can be between £1,000 and £3,200.
With this in mind – over the weekend, Ministers announced that from 6th July, UK travellers will be able to visit some European countries without having to need to quarantine on their return. The list of these travel options is set to be published this week. According to TUI, this announcement resulted in a 50% surge in bookings since last week.1 The FCO’s travel guidance page provides up-to-date travel advice including information regarding travelling abroad, crucial advice regarding COVID-19, safety, security, entry requirements and travel warnings relating to 225 countries and territories. This information is regularly updated, so be sure to keep referring back to this page.
Be sure to check the coronavirus clauses on your travel insurance policy before purchasing or flying as currently, most policies don’t cover anything to do with coronavirus. Those that do only cover medical expenses and repatriation if you contract coronavirus abroad, but don’t cover coronavirus cancellation or disruption.
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