UK holidays: Urgent warning for staycations as local lockdowns tighten in the North

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The Government has decided to further enforce stringent “lockdown” measures across the North East of England, parts of North West England, Leicester, Greater Manchester, Bolton, West Midlands and West Yorkshire in line with reported coronavirus figures. However, new rules could be a cause of confusion for many who have booked staycations in the coming weeks.

With travel corridors rapidly being axed, many Britons have opted to play it safe this year and spend their holidays in the UK.

Yet with the onslaught of regional specific rules, many have been left devastated with even more cancelled plans.

Families or groups of friends in the affected regions who had booked holidays together from separate households are now being told they are not allowed to be together.

According to the new rules, in areas with local lockdown restrictions households must not mix.

The same rules apply in Scotland and Wales, where ministers have enforced larger blanket bans.

The Welsh government explained: “Any group bookings that will not be permitted in future, including for travel, visitor attractions, restaurants or elsewhere, must be postponed or, where possible, proceed in line with new guidance (i.e. as a group of up to 6 people not including children under 11, and made up exclusively of people from your household or extended household).”

This rule was further tightened in the North East, when Boris Johnson made the decision to make it illegal to spend time with loved ones outside of your household in public places such as bars of restaurants.

These sudden rule changes are why purchasing travel insurance is so vital.

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Though travel insurance is usually associated with foreign holidays, given the unpredictable nature of the current regulations, it is vital for holidaymakers to protect their finances.

“Even if you’re staying in the UK for your holiday, a travel insurance policy can still provide a safety net should things go wrong,” states a Money Supermarket expert.

Though holidaymakers may not need it for NHS medical care, it can help protect against cancellation or curtailment, changes to transport or accommodation, personal liability, damage to baggage, belongings and valuable items, and any sporting activities you might have planned.

Of course, in hindsight many with plans may not have the travel insurance protection to support them at this time.

In this instance, the Government has issued some advice.

“If you are not able to take a planned holiday due to local restrictions, we encourage accommodation providers to offer alternative dates if this can be agreed with you,” states the website.

“If this cannot be arranged, we encourage businesses to provide a refund as they have for customers during the broader period of national restrictions, which may depend on the terms of the booking contract.”

Contrastingly, for those who have staycation plans with their immediate household, it seems they can still go ahead according to the Government website.

However, the type of accommodation holidaymakers have selected is key.

“If you live inside the area, you should only socialise indoors with members of your own household or support bubble,” explains the Government.

“You can only stay in a private home – which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats – with members of your own household or support bubble.

“You can stay in a hotel or similar accommodation (for example, a hostel or bed and breakfast) with another household, but should avoid sharing rooms with people you do not live with or otherwise socialising indoors, for example in each other’s rooms, in reception areas, or in restaurants and bars.

“We advise against sharing a caravan with another household. You should not share private vehicles to travel to your holiday destination.”

It adds: “You can travel into an area with local restrictions on holiday. “Whilst inside the area, you should follow the guidance set out above – in particular, you must not stay in a private home there – which includes self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages, apartments or boats – with people you do not normally live with.”

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