We're all wondering when we can begin travelling again, and now we have a rough timeline of when that will be. On the 22nd February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out a roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions over a several month period. This will come in 4 steps with at least 5 weeks between each step, and the government has said that they will announce whether each step will go forward one week in advance.
Let's take a look at this ‘roadmap' and at how it will affect future travel for all UK travellers.
Advice as of 08/03/21 taken from:
The first part of Step 1 will begin on 8th March
Schools, colleges and places of higher education are set to reopen, including after school clubs. Residents of care homes will be allowed one regular visitor, and while the stay-at-home order will continue, people will be allowed to meet up with one other person for outdoor recreational activities.
The second part of Step 1 will begin on 29th March, and this will allow for the rule of six to be reinstated or for people to mingle with one other household outdoors, including in private gardens. Outdoor sports are also set to return, however those participating in them will still have to engage in social distancing.
At this stage, the government will begin to phase out the stay-at-home order. Instead, people will be encouraged to ‘stay local' and to work from home if possible.
The first part of Step 2 will begin on 12th April.
This will mark the opening of indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and indoor pools; of libraries and community centres; and of personal care and non-essential retail, such as, salons, hairdressers, and other shops.
People can now enjoy outdoor hospitality. Pubs, restaurants, and cafes will be able to open without the need for people to purchase a substantial meal and with no curfew in place. Outdoor attractions, such as theme parks and zoos, will be open too. Outdoor children's activities and indoor parent and child activities of up to 15 people will resume.
In terms of events, people will be able to host weddings, receptions, and wakes with up to 15 guests and 30 attendees will be allowed at funerals.
Individual households will be allowed domestic overnight stays in self-contained accommodation and on camp sites throughout England. ‘Staycations' will be encouraged, but no international holidays will be allowed. Remember if you are thinking about booking a staycation, why not take out Select & Protect Travel Insurance, which gives you COVID-19 cover as standard.
The first part of Step 3 will begin on 17th May.
People will be able to meet with one other household or a group of 6 indoors or be a part of a group of 30 in an outdoor setting. Other forms of indoor entertainment and sport will resume, and up to 30 people will be permitted to attend significant life events.
The government also plans on increasing the number of people allowed at certain events, for example, 1,000 people (or 50% capacity) will be permitted at large indoor events, 4,000 people (or 50% capacity) will be permitted at larger outdoor events, or 10,000 people will be permitted at seated outdoor events.
At this point, people can still enjoy domestic holidays, and hotels in England will reopen. International travel will hopefully resume, but this will be under review.
The first part of Step 4 will begin on 21st June.
At this time, social contact will no longer be limited, and people can gather in larger groups. Nightclubs, theatres, and other hospitality venues will open, and there will be no limits on the number of people attending significant life events and other large events.
The government plans to lift international travel restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated.
International travel will be reviewed on 12th April. The government will assess COVID-19 infection rates and any new COVID variations and gauge the success of the vaccination rollout and the test, trace and isolate system. If all goes well, we should be able to travel internationally by the 17th May.
When the international travel roadmap is released you may be required to have a vaccination, negative COVID test or self-isolate before travelling. Further advice on each country's requirements will be published on the FCDO travel advice website (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice). You should read this before travelling.
It may be a while until lockdown restrictions are fully lifted, but rather than waiting for travel corridors to open, you could consider booking your holiday ahead of time. Just make sure you read the terms and conditions before booking!
If you're feeling apprehensive about booking a holiday right now, then you should consider taking out Travel Insurance with Select & Protect for added peace of mind. As well as cover for your medical expenses if you contract COVID 19 whilst travelling, you will receive cover for cancellation and/or loss of travel and accommodation expenses caused by COVID-19 including quarantining if you are suspected of having COVID 19 whilst abroad. To find out what is covered please look at your policy wording.
Make sure you travel safely by keeping up to date with the restrictions and regulations of countries you travel to. Always check the FCDO travel advice before travelling (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice) as you will not be covered if travelling against this advice.