Can I hire a car? How far can I travel? When should I book a holiday? Here's the need-to-know about travelling in the UK in summer 2020.
To say our summer plans have been scuppered is an understatement. Right about now we would usually be plotting our (sustainably minded) holiday wardrobe
ahead of a sun-drenched beach break; instead, we’re daydreaming about being allowed as far as Bognor Regis.
In our recent Covid-19 Wellness Impact Survey, over half of you told us that you can’t wait to travel again as soon as lockdown is lifted and intend to book a holiday as soon as possible, with a beach trip, spending time in the great outdoors and an adventure-based holiday being your trips of choice. So, what do you need to know about travelling in the UK in summer 2020?
How far from home can I travel?
For now, it’s all about the day trip. Essentially, you’re welcome to travel for unrestricted distances, so long as you’re using private transport, not displaying any symptoms of coronavirus and are able to return home at the end of the day. You still can’t stay overnight anywhere, so that means no long weekends away. It does, however, give you the option of packing a picnic and heading off for a nice long walk along the coast or a day at the beach!
When will I be able to holiday in the UK?
It’s still not entirely clear when
you’ll be able to travel within the UK. If all goes to plan, it’s looking like the government’s lockdown easing roadmap will allow people to travel more widely from early July onwards, but this is dependant on certain criteria being met and the R rate – the person-to-person transmission rate – continuing to stay under the intended 'one' mark.
If you are able to holiday in the UK, do expect to have to make allowances, with some establishments still likely to be closed and social distancing measures meaning that major tourist attractions will likely be operating at reduced capacity and experiencing bigger queues than usual.
When should I book accommodation?
Really, you can book as soon as you want to – or at least, as soon as your chosen accommodation is taking bookings. However, with no confirmation on when exactly
the UK travel industry is going to be up and running again, and the looming threat of lockdown measures being reintroduced if the R rate rises, be sure to check out their cancellation policy before you sign on the dotted line.
Where could I go?
While the world might not be your proverbial oyster right now, our little island does have its fair share of gems.
If it’s a Moroccon surf retreat that you’re dreaming of then the salty shores of Cornwall or Devon will offer a welcome respite, while hiking fans will undoubtedly find fun to be had in roaming the Yorkshire Dales. If lockdown life has ignited a new love for cycling in you, then a trip to the Lake District may be just the ticket.
If you’re stuck for a little inspiration, check out these wonderful UK staycations
and retreats or this hotel in Scotland
, which is the first vegan everything
hotel in the UK.
With organised tourist attractions likely to be busy, your best bet will be to pick a self-catering option somewhere with lots of outdoor activities.
Can I hire a car in the UK?
Fear not city-dwellers, you absolutely can hire a car in the UK at the moment. However, do note that due to restrictions surrounding social distancing and working from home, many car hire providers are only taking online bookings for the time being.
Will I be able to go abroad this summer?
Whether or not you’ll be able to holiday abroad this summer depends on a number of factors, including where you’d like to travel to, who you’re travelling with and your own personal circumstances. For example, while airline easyJet say that they plan to reopen flights from mid-June, other operators such as TUI have now cancelled holidays all the way through until the end of the month.
As it stands, countries including Greece, Italy and Spain have indicated that they’re easing out of lockdown and lifting travel restrictions, although there may still be restrictions UK arrivals. France, for example, have said that anyone arriving from the UK will likely have to quarantine for two weeks.
On a more personal level, the UK government has announced that from the 8th
June anyone arriving in the UK via an airport, ferry port or railway station will be required to fully self-isolate for two weeks. If this is viable for you, then you’ll be able to travel. That said, they’ve also hinted that this rule may not be here to stay, so (like with all things coronavirus) keep an eye out for changes!