England's lockdown rules are easing - so what travel is allowed?
12th of April was a long-awaited date for millions of people all over England, as it marked the day when countless ‘non-essential’ shops and hospitality venues could finally open their doors, in line with the government’s easing of lockdown restrictions. The lifting lockdown rules have also meant that travel rules are changing too, so if you were planning to hire a car or hire a van in the coming weeks for personal travel, we thought we’d take a quick moment to let you know exactly how you can expect to prepare for any personal trips - and what’s still not permitted!
Can I book holiday accommodation within England?
Yes. Holiday homes, cottages, cabins and communal accommodations are now reopening their doors, so you can finally enjoy a change of scenery. Campsites and caravan parks are also now open to the public again too, but with some caveats - the close-quarters nature of some facilities means that they have to stay shut, so you shouldn’t expect to see (for example) any communal showers anytime soon. Certain premises may still be forced to stay shut for similar reasons, if they can’t guarantee that separate groups of visitors will be able to enjoy sufficient space from each other.
On that note, if you are one of the ones planning on a holiday in the near future, you should also make sure that you’re only doing it with your support bubble too, since no indoor mixing is allowed just yet.
Can I go on a day trip within England?
Yes. In addition to parks, gardens and beaches, a variety of other venues and locales are now welcoming visitors too, including zoos, theme parks, drive in cinemas, and drive-in performance events.
Hairdressers, beauty and nail salons, and indoor leisure facilities like gyms and spas are now all able to open too, while pubs, cafes and hospitality venues are able to re-open for outdoor service. In case you’re wondering, there’s no government-set curfew, and no legal requirement to serve a ‘substantial meal’ with alcohol, scotch egg or otherwise.
Don’t forget, though, that certain venues may be using their own discretion as to when they open, due to the nature of their businesses, staffing or premises, so they might not automatically be open from today onwards. It’s worth bearing in mind!
What about trips to other parts of the UK?
Wales is the only other UK country that you’re permitted to visit at the moment, as their national government has relaxed their borders to the point where international travel is permitted again. Scotland and Northern Ireland are different cases, though. Scotland hasn’t set a new date for its imminent reopening to the rest of the UK, but fingers are crossed for April 26th. Northern Ireland hasn’t set a date either, although domestic travel and holidaying is currently permitted for the Irish population, and will be permitted for the Scottish population from Friday 16th of April.
What about travel abroad?
At the time of publication, foreign holidays are still banned, and all overseas travellers have to quarantine when they come back into the UK. At the moment, there’s talk of ranking various countries by a ‘traffic light’ system according to how much risk they pose. Green is minimal, amber is substantial, and red is severe. This traffic light system will be judged on each country’s vaccinations and infection rates, their testing capacity, and any active Covid variants which might be medical causes for concern.
Wherever you’re travelling from though, even from ‘green’ ranked countries, as things all travellers will be subject to a PCR Covid test as a prerequisite for their travel. This could reportedly cost as much as £120 per person, which could make a lot of holidays out of reach for many families. It’s yet another matter that the government is taking into consideration, so things may well change over the coming months.
One thing is for certain though - wherever and whenever you’re planning on taking your own trip or holiday, you can count on us right here at Intack Self Drive to have the perfect set of wheels, with the best prices when you come to hire a car or van. If you’re thinking about using your vehicle for something more long-term on the other hand, our Flexi Hire services are designed to give you the very best value on long-term hire. If you’ve got any questions or need anything clarified, our friendly team is only a phone call away - feel free to give us a ring on 01254 57811!
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