August bank holiday 2020: when is the summer bank holiday weekend this year, weather forecast - and if you should book a trip

The August bank holiday may be a little different this year if lockdown restrictions continue throughout the summer

Friday, 26th June 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 11:55 am
Many are hoping that lockdown restrictions will be lifted entirely by the August bank holiday.

When is the 2020 August bank holiday?

This year’s August bank holiday will fall at the end of the month, on 31 August 2020, which is a Monday.

Normally, the August bank holiday sees beaches and beauty spots across the UK filled with people enjoying time off work. However, this year’s bank holiday plans look a little different, with social distancing and mask rules in place across many parts of the UK.

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What will the weather be like?

The Met Office’s long-term forecast for 23rd August – 1st September says that towards the end of the last week of August, there will be wet spells interspersed with dry spells, mainly in the southeast – though rain bands will still make their way down to some parts of the south.

Temperatures will be around normal for August, though the Met Office notes "there could be the odd above average day in the south and southeast”. By the Bank Holiday weekend, conditions will be “changeable” though mostly unsettled in the north and west of the country. The Met Office notes that the best of the dry and warm weather will be found in the south.

What are the current restrictions?

Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland have all seen restrictions eased in recent weeks – though masks are now mandatory in some settings, and social distancing is still encouraged.

The hope is that cases will continue to fall, allowing life to slowly return to normal for people across the UK.

Some areas, however, have been placed under local lockdown thanks to a spike in cases. In these areas, restrictions on gatherings have been levied.

Officials across the country are closely monitoring local areas in case of a fresh outbreak which may require intervention.

Can I book a holiday?

Holidaying in the UK is now possible, with rules in England having been relaxed since July. Many are opting for self-contained accommodation to reduce the risk of transmission.

While holidaying abroad is possible in some countries, events in recent weeks have shown that going abroad could be risky – many countries, such as Spain and France which were once on the UK’s exemption list have now been taken off it.

This means that travellers have to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to limit the spread of coronavirus.

You should refund policies carefully if booking a holiday, and consider taking out travel insurance in case coronavirus restrictions mean you can’t go on your planned break.

When is the next bank holiday after August?

Normally, there would not be another bank holiday in England or Wales until Christmas Day.

The idea of introducing another bank holiday in October as a boost for the tourism industry was suggested earlier this year by tourism group, Visit Britain. Its acting head, Patricia Yates, told MPs in May that the tourism industry had missed out on two crucial bank holidays in May, thanks to the coronavirus lockdown.

At the time, however, the government warned that an extra bank holiday would come at a huge cost to the UK economy when it was already struggling.

At the start of June, the Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy department ruled out the idea of an extra bank holiday, claiming that it would come at a cost of £1 billion to the economy.