Can I still travel in the UK during a local lockdown? Your travel questions answered by our expert

Eufemia Didonato

‘Can we travel to London for a short break?’

Q. Susie Parr: “We are due to travel down to London on Friday 23rd October for a social weekend.  It is just my husband and I and we are driving down in our own vehicle. We are  going to a few restaurants, a museum and shopping.  

“Can we do all of this?  We are not meeting anyone, just the two of us.  We live in Derbyshire and I think it may be going up a Tier.”

A. Nick: I don’t think there is anything in the Tier 2 rules which actually forbids you from doing this, but you are “advised” to reduce the number of journeys you make “where possible” when you are in the Tier 2 area, so it would come down to your individual conscience.

‘What about travelling to a Tier 2 area?’

Q. Fern Taylor“My family (three of us) were planning on visiting my sister in Sheffield. We live on the Isle of Wight (Tier 1) and she lives in Sheffield (Tier 2).

“We would meet outside, socially distanced, in a park and would not stay overnight. Would this be permitted under the lockdown rules? “

A. Nick: Yes – official guidance for Tier 2 says “You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space.

When you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.” More details here.

‘Are you able to travel into a Tier 2 area from abroad?’

Q. David Greenway: “The Government information does not make it clear how the new restrictions will affect visitors to the UK.  I will be coming from Italy to the UK on October 27 and returning on the October 31. I will be staying with my sister in London and I have a hospital appointment on October 29 in Romford Essex.  

“Will this trip now be possible under the new restrictions?”

A. Nick: Yes, I believe so – as long you self isolate at your sister’s. But I would definitely  check with the hospital that it will allow you to attend the appointment if you are in quarantine.

‘Can we go away with our grandchildren?’

Q. Jackie Low: “My husband and I provide one day of childcare for my daughter. Her children are 9 and 12. She lives with her husband.  

“I have read conflicting advice as to whether we can both join the extended bubble or just one of us? Also we are booked to go away together for a week at half term. Can we go?”

A. Nick: You don’t say which Tier you live in. If you are in Tier 1, there is no problem – “Family and friends can continue to provide informal childcare as long as groups from different households don’t exceed 6 people. You should, wherever possible, keep your distance from people you do not live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them).”

And technically you can go on holiday in a Tier 1 area. For Tier 2 the guidance on childcare is that people in your child care bubble “can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens… A childcare bubble is where someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. For any given childcare bubble, this must always be between the same 2 households. Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare. Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and not for the purposes of different households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to do so.”

I don’t think you would be allowed to use the childcare bubble to go on holiday from a Tier 2 area, but the rules aren’t explicit on this. More details here.

‘I live in a Tier 3 area, can I still go abroad?’

Q.Stella Saleh: “I live in Liverpool. Can I go to Rhodes at half-term ?”   

A. Nick: You would have to make your own decision based on what the guidelines say for those who live in a Tier 3 area, like Liverpool.

They don’t specifically address foreign holidays but do say: “you should try to avoid travelling outside the very high alert level area you are in or entering a very high alert level area, other than for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey. You should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you are resident in a very high alert level area, or avoid staying overnight in a very high alert level area if you are resident elsewhere.” More on this here. 

Do you have a question for our expert? Leave it in the comments section below.

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