Travel

Can I travel to Wales or Scotland from England now lockdown has eased?

Lockdown restrictions have been eased in England allowing families and friends to mix in groups for the first time in weeks.

The rule changes, which permit outdoor gatherings of up to six people from different households, or larger groups from just two households, apply in England from today.

Scotland and Wales are following their own plans for lifting lockdown.

But do the changes impact rules around travelling to other parts of the UK?

Government guidance for England states that you may now leave England to travel to other parts of the UK – but there are restrictions in place in Scotland and Wales that prevent travel for non-essential reasons.

Travel between Scotland and England has been banned by the Scottish government, unless you have a ‘reasonable excuse’ such as going to work, to attend a wedding or funeral or to move house.

Guidance from the Scottish government states: “Under current Scottish law, given the state of the epidemic, unless you have a reasonable excuse, you must not travel between Scotland and England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man.”



First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

The same rules apply in Wales.

Guidance from the Welsh government states: “Currently, travel in to and out of Wales is not permitted unless you have a reasonable excuse.”

The guidance lists the following ‘reasonable excuses’:

  • to meet other people in your support bubble, if you have one
  • to escape a risk of illness or injury, such as for victims or people at risk of domestic abuse
  • to provide or receive emergency services
  • to attend a wedding, civil partnership or funeral if you are invited
  • to vote in an election
  • for elite athletes, to train or compete (or for others, to provide coaching or other similar support to an elite athlete)

The regulations also state that travel may be permitted for reasons that are ‘reasonably necessary’ and where there is ‘no reasonably practicable alternative’.

Visiting family and friends or having a holiday is not currently considered a reasonable excuse, the guidance states.

Coronavirus restrictions for people living in Wales were eased on Saturday to allow people to stay in self-contained holiday accommodation and the country’s “stay local” requirement was also lifted.

Other changes to Wales’ coronavirus rules include allowing up to six people from two different households to meet and exercise outdoors, as well as organised outdoor activities and sports for under-18s.

Wales has already reopened hairdressers and allowed most school pupils to resume face-to-face teaching, with all pupils and college students expected to return to classrooms after the Easter break.

In Scotland, outdoor mixing between four people from up to two households is allowed, along with outdoor non-contact sports and organised group exercise.

The country’s “stay at home” order is to be removed on April 2, with Scots instead advised to “stay local”.

From April 5, click-and-collect retail services, along with garden centres, car dealerships, homeware stores and barbers and hairdressers, will also be able to reopen.




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