“As we see rises around the world, we can’t fool ourselves that we are exempt,” Boris Johnson said of the increase of coronavirus cases in the UK.
“It is now time to put our foot on the brake pedal.”
For those who live in the affected areas, the measures prohibit social contact with those outside their households and support bubbles, including in private homes and gardens or cafes and pubs.
But what does it mean for those who have holidays booked in the north of England? Here’s everything you need to know.
Which areas are affected?
City of Manchester
Blackburn with Darwen
Am I allowed to holiday there?
Yes. The government advice says you can still holiday in the lockdown area and visit shops, leisure facilities and cafes. It adds: “However, you must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so.”
Will restaurants, pubs and attractions be open?
Yes, most businesses are allowed to remain open and you can have a meal out or attend a local attraction. However, you are not permitted to socialise with others who are also in attendance.
Businesses have been instructed to “take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with Covid-19 secure guidance”.
In Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, the following businesses have all been closed: indoor gyms; indoor fitness and dance studios; indoor sports courts and facilities; and indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks.
Can I stay with family members in the affected areas or visit them?
No, this will be illegal. You cannot stay in their house (unless you’ve formed a support bubble with them already), or visit them in their home or garden. You’re also not permitted to meet up with them in a pub, café or other indoor space.
However, it’s still permitted to meet in public outdoor spaces, such as parks, in groups of up to six people – unless the group includes only people from two households, in which case it can be more.
“At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble,” says the government advice.
Support bubbles can only be formed between people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) and one other household. Where these are in place, you are allowed to visit or stay overnight with the people in your support bubble.
If I no longer want to go, can I cancel my holiday there?
You can cancel, but it’s unlikely you’d be able to get a refund at this stage, as the holiday itself arguably remains largely unaffected by the rule changes. You also won’t be able to claim back costs from standard travel insurance, as the government currently states you are free to travel into the affected areas and holiday there, meaning any cancellation would fall under “disinclination to travel”.
If you’re particularly worried, it’s always worth contacting your accommodation provider or travel agent directly and asking whether rebooking for a later date is possible.
Can those from affected areas go on holiday elsewhere?
Yes. “You should not travel outside of this area to meet people in their homes or gardens,” reads the guidance, but, “You can still go on holiday, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with).”