12 April reopening: Where can I travel right now?

12 April reopening: Where can I travel right now?
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If you are in England, you know it’s a big deal as the country is partially reopening after several months of lockdown. Some lockdown measures have officially been eased. Among them are travel restrictions that have confined most of us to our homes for the past few months. So, where are we free to travel right now?

Let’s take a look.

Can I travel around England right now?

Yes, you can. If you’ve been saving for a getaway and simply can’t wait to get out after months of lockdown, there is good news. As of Monday 12 April, self-contained accommodation, including campsites, holiday lets and cottages, are free to open.

However, you can only travel or stay with members of your own household or support bubble.

Can I go on a day trip?

Yes. A wide range of outdoor attractions, including theme parks, zoos, drive-in cinemas and drive-in performance events can reopen.

However, any indoor spaces and enclosed areas at these attractions will remain closed or have limited access.

Can I stay overnight at a friend’s or relative’s house?

You can’t do this unless the friend or relative has joined a support bubble with you. Mixing of households indoors is still banned.

Can I travel to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Wales has already permitted self-catering accommodation to reopen. And from 12 April, it’s also lifting the rule against non-essential travel to and from the rest of the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Ireland.

So that means that if you are in England, you can cross the border to Wales for a self-contained holiday and vice versa.

However, travel to Scotland and Northern Ireland is not permitted right now.

Scotland has yet to formally confirm its reopening dates, but the hope is that it will be soon. Northern Ireland has relaxed its ‘stay at home’ message, but places such as hotels and B&Bs remain closed. There is no firm date for when these will reopen.

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Can I travel abroad for a holiday right now?

No, not yet. Foreign travel for leisure remains banned right now and will not be allowed at least until 17 May. That’s the next key date in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

The government has already confirmed that it will implement a traffic light system for foreign travel when the current ban is lifted. The system will categorise countries according to several factors, including:

  • Infection rates
  • Vaccination rates
  • Prevalence of Covid-19 and its variants
  • The country’s capacity for genomic sequencing of Covid-19 variants

It will have three colours: green, amber and red, with different restrictions for each category. For example, British holidaymakers coming from countries in the green category will probably not have to undergo a mandatory quarantine after coming back into the country.

It’s important to note that you can travel out of England if have a ‘reasonable excuse’, such as work, education or medical treatment.

Can I book an international holiday right now?

You can, but keep in mind that there are risks attached. Nobody knows for certain whether the government will lift the ban on non-essential foreign travel on 17 May.

In fact, Boris Johnson has already warned that the outright ban on foreign travel may not be lifted on the proposed 17 May date because of the risk of importing Covid-19 variants.  

If you decide to take the plunge and book a foreign holiday right now, consider taking out travel insurance. Depending on the type of cover you get, it could protect you from any unforeseen circumstances, including cancellations or any other event that cause your holiday not to go ahead.

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