Government advises against all holidays and non-essential travel within the UK

Staycations are off the table

Helen Coffey
Monday 23 March 2020 11:17
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The Government has updated its advice to say that all holidays and non-essential travel within the UK should now be off limits to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Previously, the ban only applied to international travel. The new guidance means staycations are no longer advised.

The guidelines stated: “Following on from the government’s guidance on social distancing in relation to COVID-19, people should avoid travelling unless it is essential.”

It continues: “This guidance is for people planning to visit second homes or holiday premises during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence.

“Not taking these steps puts additional pressure on communities and services that are already at risk.”

It comes after Boris Johnson’s most strongly worded address so far, in which he warned “tougher measures” might have to be introduced if people continue to flout social distancing rules.

The prime minister said that curfews and restrictions on movement could be imposed as they have been in Italy as the death toll in the UK rose to 281.

He added that the decision to keep parks open was also under constant review following a number of pictures showing hundreds of people congregating in green spaces being shared on social media over the weekend.

Some holiday hotspots in the UK are already encouraging tourists to stay away.

The Welsh government tourism body is circulating a picture with the message “Visit Wales. Later.”

It goes on: “Please do not visit Wales at this time and avoid all unnecessary travel within Wales. Following these guidelines will save lives. We look forward to welcoming you back in future; but for now, let’s all #staysafe.”

Visit Cornwall has published a statement saying: “Visitors should not come to Cornwall at this time, in order to slow the spread of the virus, to protect themselves, as well as the communities of Cornwall.”

The organisation is critical of the government’s “lack of clarity” about whether domestic tourism is acceptable.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has issued a travel warning and criticised the “irresponsible behaviour” of those travelling to the Highlands in campervans or to stay in second homes.

Rural Economy and Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “I am furious at the reckless and irresponsible behaviour of some people travelling to the Highland and Islands. This has to stop now.

”Let me be crystal clear, people should not be travelling to rural and island communities, full stop. They are endangering lives. Do not travel.”

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