When can we travel again in UK? Date travel restrictions will be lifted between England and Scotland in 2021

The two countries have different roadmaps out of lockdown, meaning domestic travel will resume on varying dates

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:24 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 5:24 pm

As the devolved nations reveal their roadmaps out of lockdown, many are looking forward to unrestricted travelling in the UK.

Both England and Scotland’s governments have made announcements about the easing of Covid rules and the gradual return to something like normal.

But as the timelines for relaxing restrictions vary in the two countries, it can be confusing to work out when domestic travel between them may be permitted in 2021.

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The dates for relaxing domestic travel restrictions vary in England and Scotland (Getty Images)

So, when might people be able to go on holiday in Scotland from England, and vice versa?

Here is everything you need to know.

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When can I go on holiday in England?

Boris Johnson’s roadmap states that the “stay at home” order in England will be lifted on 29 March.

Although this will be a welcome change for many, it is unclear how far exactly you will be permitted to travel.

Then, the earliest date people in England will be able to enjoy an overnight stay away from home is 12 April, when domestic holidays are set to resume.

However, this is for self-contained accommodation only, including campsites and caravan parks.

Self-contained accommodation is classed as any place that does not require shared facilities, like bathrooms, entries and exits, or catering and sleeping areas.

People looking forward to hotel and B&B stays will need to wait until 17 May - the earliest date that these types of holiday accommodation will be able to reopen.

There will also be a limit on how many people can stay together.

Two households will be permitted to go on a hotel holiday together, with no limit on people.

If people are from more than two households, the “rule of six” will need to be followed.

And if people from any of the other four nations wish to travel and stay in England, when this will be possible is reliant on the traveller’s origin country’s restrictions.

It should be noted that England’s roadmap dates are provisional, and depend on the state of the pandemic at the time.

What about travel to Scotland?

Mainland Scotland’s “stay at home” rule is set to be lifted on 2 April.

For at least three weeks after that, the guidance for people in the country will be to “stay local”.

The next important date for travel is not until 26 April.

From then, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon aims to lift travel restrictions on the mainland “entirely”.

That means domestic tourism will resume as residents in Scotland will be able to start travelling freely around the mainland.

All tourist accommodation will reopen from this date, including hotels and B&Bs, dependent on the continued decrease in Covid cases and the progress of the vaccinations programme at the time.

Other restrictions will also still apply in tourist accommodation, such as those surrounding hospitality.

Travel to the Scottish islands will be different and restrictions may continue for longer.

Ms Sturgeon has said she is hopeful that travel between Scotland and the other UK nations will also be possible from 26 April “or very shortly afterwards”.

A firm decision on this is set to be taken by the government in April.

When can I go on holiday abroad?

People in England will not be able to go on holiday abroad until 17 May at the earliest, according to the prime minister’s roadmap.

But scientists have warned that holidays overseas in summer are very unlikely due to the risk of travellers importing new variants of the virus into the UK.

Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the government's Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which feeds into Sage, has said the UK faces a “real risk” if people travel abroad in summer.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on 20 March: "I think that international travel this summer is, for the average holidaymaker, sadly I think, extremely unlikely.

"I think we are running a real risk if we do start to have lots of people going overseas in July, for instance, and August because of the potential for bringing more of these new variants back into the country.

"What is really dangerous is if we jeopardise our vaccination campaign by having these variants, where the vaccines don't work as effectively, spreading more rapidly."

And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously said it was “too early to tell” when international holidays would be given the go-ahead.

A government taskforce will report to the prime minister on 12 April, laying out when and how foreign travel might resume.

Currently, holidays abroad from the UK are not permitted and returning travellers have to quarantine, either at home or in hotels.