Lockdown travel rules: When can I stay overnight with another household?

Helen Coffey
·3-min read
Households cannot mix indoors yet (Getty Images)
Households cannot mix indoors yet (Getty Images)

Lockdown restrictions continue to be eased in the UK according to the roadmaps of the various devolved nations.

As “stay at home” messages are swapped for “stay local” and some domestic travel becomes possible once more, many Brits are wondering when they can stay overnight with another household, enabling trips with friends and extended family.

Here’s what we know so far about when the ban on indoor mixing might lift.

Overnight stays in England

Although more travel restrictions are being eased in England from 12 April, when staying overnight away from home is permitted in self-contained accommodation, mixing with other households indoors is still banned. You can only go and stay somewhere with the people in your own household or support bubble.

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However, this looks set to change from 17 May, when the entire hospitality and tourism is on track to reopen, including hotels and B&Bs. From this point the government states: “Indoors, the rule of six or two households will apply – we will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.” This would mean you could stay overnight with up to five others from outside your household, or alongside one other household of any size.

A date of 21 June has been given for the reopening of most of the economy, meaning overnight stays of bigger groups may be allowed from then.

Overnight stays in Scotland

From 26 April, those in Scotland may travel freely within the country. All holiday accommodation (hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, caravan and camping sites) can open, as can attractions and shops, subject to restrictions.

However, in-home socialising with different households will continue to be banned. The earliest time from which staying overnight with another household might be possible is 17 May, when Scotland is looking at “re-introducing in-home socialising for up to four people from up to two households”.

Bigger gatherings of up to six people from up to three households indoors may be possible from early June, enabling slightly larger group holidays.

Overnight stays in Wales

Wales got a jump start on the rest of the UK, enabling people to travel within the nation and stay overnight at self-contained accommodation from 27 March. However, this is only permissible for single households.

The earliest date from which separate families and households will be able to meet indoors, with extended households able to form between two households, is 10 May. If this goes ahead, this is the point from which overnight stays with another household may be allowed.

Overnight stays in Northern Ireland

Although Northern Ireland currently has a “stay at home” order, this is set to lift from 12 April. At this time, overnight stays with another household may also be possible – Northern Ireland’s rules state that you can form a “bubble” with one other household and socialise with them indoors.

“The two households in the bubble can be of any size, however indoor meetings between households in the bubble are limited to a maximum of 10 people, including children, at any one time,” say the rules.

However, it is still unclear when you might be able to stay overnight at actual holiday accommodation: caravan sites, hotels and B&Bs won’t reopen until stage three of the country’s roadmap, a date for which has not yet been given.