Lockdown conditions across the UK are easing slowly, with non-essential shops permitted to open from Monday, June 15. Shops must create a safe space for customers, and ensure social distancing guidelines can be adhered to. With the easing of some lockdown rules, Brits are itching to know when and if they can go on holiday this year.
When can Britons go on holiday?
Business Secretary Alok Sharma led the Government’s daily coronavirus conference on Tuesday and was asked by a member of the public if holidays would soon be permitted.
Questioner Alison from London asked: “At the moment people can go on day trips, to exercise or meet family following social distancing rules. But when can people and families book UK holidays and stay overnight? For example self-catering camping and cottage hire.”
Mr Sharma responded: “I do understand why people want to have answers to those questions.
UK holidays: When can Britons go on holiday?
“But what I’ve said and what the Government has said all along is that we want to do an opening of the economy in a phased manner, in a careful manner and that’s what we have done.”
He added: “On June 1, we reopened parts of the economy, we are now saying for other retail, they will able to be open from June 15.
“But of course its really important we continue to support the sort of businesses that Alison has talked about, so we have the furlough scheme in place, we have the grant scheme in place and we will continue to support our businesses.”
Matt Hancock said he hoped the Government would be able to get to a position where people were able to go on holiday this summer.
UK holidays: Mr Sharma said the priority was getting the economy up and running
UK holidays: Stages of UK easing lockdown
He told the Number 10 briefing on Monday: “For those who aren’t able to go abroad for a holiday, I know the impact that will have this summer. I understand that.
“I just hope that we will be able to get to a position where people will be able to go on holiday – including domestically – safely, carefully and in a COVID-secure way.”
Speaking in May, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said staycations may be permitted this summer.
He told the Downing Street press conference: “I would love to get the tourism sector up as quickly as we possibly can.
“We’ve set this very ambitious plan to try and get it up and running by the beginning of July.”
The Government’s target is July 4 to reopen the UK tourism sector.
Speaking later in the House of Commons, Mr Dowden said: “Self-let accommodation has a lower risk, so I would hope that is at the front of the queue.”
Stormont economy minister Diane Dodds has said Northern Ireland’s hotels are permitted to reopen from July 20 as long as the rate of infection is under control.
UK holidays: There is no date as yet for when ‘staycations’ will be back on the agenda
The July 20 date also covers guesthouses, guest accommodation, B&Bs hotels and hostels.
The next stage in England’s lockdown strategy is for shops to reopen from Monday, June 15.
Mr Sharma told the Downing Street press conference: “I can confirm today that retail outlets which have been required to be closed will be able to open their doors again from Monday, June 15 so long as they comply with the COVID-secure guidelines we published on May 25.
“This is the latest step in the careful restarting of our economy and will enable high streets up and down the country to spring back to life.”
He added enforcement notices can be issued if shops reopen without following the guidance.
He said other businesses such as restaurants, pubs, bars or hairdressers will not be able to open until 4 July at the earliest, as per the government’s “road map”.
When asked if the Government would consider lessening the two-metre distancing requirement Mr Sharma responded: “We keep these matters under review”.
However, he would not give a date as to when this would happen.