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What are the rules on travelling in and out of London right now?

Day trips? Holidays? Here’s what you can and can’t do now the city is in Tier 2

Ellie Walker-Arnott

Lockdown is back, but it looks a little different this time. From midnight tonight (October 16) London is going into Tier 2 of the government’s new three-tier system. It means the capital is now in the ‘high alert’ category.

Now, we know what that means for life in the city (spoiler: you’re going to need a really good coat if you want a social life this winter) but how does the new situation affect day trips from London or any upcoming holidays you might have booked?

Can you travel in and out of Tier 2 London?

People must not travel in or out of a Tier 3 ‘very high alert’-level area. But, while the government is generally advising against all but essential travel, there’s no official ban in place for Tier 2. That means if you live outside of London in a Tier 1 or another Tier 2 area, and you cannot work from home, you can still travel into the city for work. And it also means Londoners are allowed to leave the Tier 2 area to visit other Tier 2 or Tier 1 places in their free time, too.

Mermaid Street, Rye
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Can Londoners go on holiday outside of London?

According to the government, ‘you can still go on holiday outside of high alert level areas, but you must only do this with people in your household or support bubble’. That means you and your two housemates, for example, could go and stay in an Airbnb, but you can’t go and stay at your sister’s house.

It also means you can still go on holiday abroad (though bear in mind that there aren’t many places left on the air bridge list!)

Autumn in Kent countryside
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What about day trips from London?

When it comes to day trips outside of the city, you must follow Tier 2 rules even if the place you are visiting is in Tier 1. That means you should only spend time inside a hospitality venue with your own household or support bubble. So you can go for a Sunday roast in a pub by the sea, but you can’t do it with any pals you don’t live with. 

There is however nothing stopping you visiting friends or family in Tier 1 as long as you stay outside and adhere to the rule of six. Bracing countryside walk anyone? 

Before you skip off out of the city, all of the above is also dependant on the area you want to visit. Remember, you can’t travel to a Tier 3 area, for example. Also, new rules, which come into effect today, mean people from Tier 3 and 2 areas, like London, cannot enter Wales. There is currently no travel ban in Scotland, but large parts of the country are subject to strict local lockdowns, which might affect any planned holidays. 

So holidays and day trips are still possible, you’re just going to be seeing a whole lot more of your household for the foreseeable.  

Want to get out of the city right now? Here are the best Airbnbs in the UK, the crunchiest autumn leaves in the country and some super wholesome (and alfresco) UK hikes


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