London lockdown: How new stringent Tier 2 rules impact your staycation holidays

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It was announced yesterday that more parts of England, including London would be plunged into Tier 2 lockdown. Areas of England are put into one of three tiers depending on their coronavirus spread. Tier 1 is where the risk is deemed “medium”, Tier 2 is “high” and Tier 3 is “very high”.

Tonight, London, most of Essex, York, northeast Derbyshire, Erewash, Chesterfield, Barrow-in-Furness and Elmbridge will move into Tier 2.

The Tier restrictions are on top of general advice and guidance which has been put in place by the government.

This summer, staycations and UK holidays have seen a boom with campsites and caravan parks experiencing a surge in bookings.

Although Winter is drawing in and temperatures are dropping, staycations are likely to remain high on the agenda for Britons.

While there is currently no blanket lockdown on the UK, local lockdowns could have an impact on your travel plans.

Here’s the latest information for your travel plans in London.

What are the Tier 2 rules?

Tier 2 means that the region has a high level of coronavirus infections.

In Tier 2, Britons must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

They must not socialise in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other spaces like beaches or parks.

Businesses and venues will continue to operate but in a Covid-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law.

Certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am.

Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.

Exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors; these will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport.

And people can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.

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Can I travel?

Britons in Tier 2 can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, for work, voluntary, charitable or youth services, or for education, within a high alert level area.

However, people should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.

Britons – especially in London – are being encouraged to walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.

The advice has been put in place to help people social distance successfully when they travel.

What does this mean for hotel and accommodation bookings?

The government website says: “You can still travel within high alert level areas to hotels and other guest accommodation, but you should only do this with people in your household or support bubble.”

People living in London can still go on holiday outside of their tier too.

However, they must only do this with people in their household or support bubble.

The government is urging travellers to respect the rules in devolved nations in the UK.

“When travelling, it is important that you respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where their intended activities there would be prohibited by legislation passed by the relevant devolved administration.”

However, the government is advising people to avoid travelling to any part of the country subject to very high local COVID alert levels (Tier 3).

Currently, this only applied to Liverpool City and some surrounding areas.

For those who live in a Tier 3 zone the advice is that you should not leave if you live there unless it is essential, and likewise you should not enter unless for work or school purposes.

Those who live in a Tier 3 region who have accommodation booked in London should contact the company/owner immediately to discuss your options.

You may be able to rebook for a later date or they may have a Covid cancellation scheme in place.

Can I holiday anywhere in England?

Theoretically, you can travel anywhere in England, so long as it is not in a tier 3 location.

It is not against the law to go on holiday in the UK, just as long as you follow local guidance and don’t stay with more than six people who you do not normally live with.

Any gathering of more than six people in England is illegal unless it meets one of the exemptions.

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