When can I travel between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Laura Hampson
·3-min read
Fresh Water West in Pembrokeshire National Park, Wales (Getty)
Fresh Water West in Pembrokeshire National Park, Wales (Getty)

Whether or not we can travel abroad this year remains to be seen, so a staycation seems like the safest option for a holiday this summer.

New laws implemented today (29 March) mean those in England travelling abroad without a “valid reason” could face a £5,000 fine until at least 30 June.

Within England, however, self-catering accommodation will be allowed to open to single households from 12 April, and Wales is set to open to English travellers on this date too, (Wales has already opened domestic travel to Welsh travellers).

Travel restrictions within mainland Scotland are being lifted on 26 April.

Watch: Why life has been ‘extremely challenging’ on the Scottish islands with just 70 COVID cases

The travel situation in Northern Ireland is less clear. Currently, everything but essential travel is advised against, with all tourist accommodation closed to holidaymakers, and although the country's 'roadmap' out of lockdown has now been announced, the report gives no official timeline towards reopening.

Read more: The best beachfront campsites in the UK

When can I travel in Scotland?

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that travel restrictions within mainland Scotland will lift from 26 April - which could mean that travellers from England, Wales and Northern Ireland could be allowed to holiday in Scotland from that date too.

The Jacobite Steam Train crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the  Scottish Highlands (Getty)
The Jacobite Steam Train crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands (Getty)

“We hope that restrictions on journeys between Scotland and other parts of the UK and the wider common travel area can be lifted, if not on 26 April, then as soon as possible thereafter,” Sturgeon added.

This is also the date that Scotland will reopen all tourist accommodation, as well as pubs, restaurants and cafes.

When can I travel in Wales?

Self-contained holidays in Wales restarted for Welsh travellers on 27 March, however those looking to travel to Wales from other parts of the UK will need to wait until at least 12 April to do so.

Read more: The best UK road trips to take this summer

While this date is not set in stone, if we can travel then, only single household stays will be available - much like in England.

When can I travel in England?

According to the government’s roadmap, self-contained holidays in England for single households should begin from 12 April.

This means that households will be able to stay overnight (or multiple nights) in cottages or campsites where facilities are not shared.

Other accommodation like hotels and B&Bs are likely to reopen from 17 May, under the third step of easing lockdown.

Read more: Royal Caribbean launches cruises to Greece and Cyprus for vaccinated travellers

This will also be the date that groups of six from different households can go on holiday together, or larger groups from two households.

All restrictions in England are set to lift from 21 June - but this is subject to change.

When can I travel in Northern Ireland?

The executive plans to relax the stay-at-home message from 12 April, subject to a review after Easter. However, there will continue to be a "stay local" message.

Restrictions remain in place for travel within the Common Travel Area (United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands), meaning you should travel only if it is essential.

With specific dates not yet set for easing lockdown restrictions, it is advisable to wait before booking any travel to Northern Ireland in the summer.

Watch: Why Britons will get an extra bank holiday in 2022

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