The sun is shining, the weather is sweet, it’s officially summer... and we have good news. While you’re not allowed to go on holiday in the UK right now, that’s all set to change early next month.
Holidays in England are officially allowed from July 4, according to new guidance from the government. Speaking in the House of Commons, PM Boris Johnson said that from July 4, ‘provided that no more than two households stay together, people will be free to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation including hotels and bed and breakfasts, as well as campsites, as long as shared facilities are kept clean.’
Despite lockdown rules being slowly eased and responsible, socially distanced day trips from London being put on the agenda in May, holidays in the UK had been banned since lockdown came into effect in March. Previous guidance had stated that ‘essential travel does not include visits to second homes, campsites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People must remain in their primary residence... Leaving your home – the place you live – to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed.’
Plenty of accommodation providers around the UK, from hotels to cabins, campsites to treehouses, had been looking to July 4 with optimism since the government unveiled its ‘Plan to Rebuild’ – as were plenty of Londoners keen to escape the city.
Booking enquiries had more than doubled for accommodation site Sawday’s, while Canopy & Stars, which specialises in remote and off-grid stays, saw a jump in searches for their properties too over recent weeks. Both of these sites are taking new bookings from July 4, but expecting more of a lift in UK travel from August onwards.
‘We have seen a significant uplift in visits to the website and bookings,’ says Mike Bevans, MD of Canopy & Stars and Sawday’s. ‘We expect to see strong and ultra-last-minute demand for UK places in August and September.’
What will we be looking for in a UK holiday in summer 2020? Canopy & Stars say space is one of the main things, with 70 percent of people they recently surveyed looking for self-catering and self-check-in. Also high up on our wishlists right now? Cleanliness of properties (obvs) and flexibility around booking, in case any planned holidays can’t go ahead.
Booking site Cool Camping is also poised for sleeping under canvas to be allowed from early July, but it’s allowing customers to book with a 20 percent deposit and then move the booking date for up to 18 months if the restrictions are later reinstated.
So UK summer holidays are officially happening this summer, but it’s worth bearing in mind that restrictions will still be in place. Johnson announced a relaxation of the country’s two metre social distancing rule. From July 4, this will be decreased to one metre, to help places like hotels, as well as pubs, restaurants and attractions, reopen. But social distancing measures, like enforced table service, limited staff members, protective screens and the gathering of contact details, will be in place.
It’s a price we are more than willing to pay, though. Because after nearly 100 days inside this set-up looks pretty dreamy right now...
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Want to know when you can travel overseas? Here’s what we know so far.Share the story