After a Spring and early Summer of lockdown, many people are looking to get away for a few days or weeks with their loved ones over the next few months. Although you can fly abroad, many are choosing a "Staycation" this year.
For those that do, remember that the same restrictions that apply in your home town apply at your holiday destination. Also remember that the rules vary between the four home nations. There may be things you are not allowed to do that you would have been able to do in previous years.
Similarly if you travel abroad, there are strict restrictions within airports and on aircraft, boats and trains, as well as in the countries you are visiting. Some of these restrictions may be far stricter than they are in this country. Check out the Foreign Office website for the country you are visiting before you leave. Some countries have restrictions on travel. And remember, if you are visiting certain countries, you may have to isolate on arrival or even when you get back to the UK. Remember too that nearly all travel insurance policies do not cover infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
Wherever you go, do it safely. If you are holidaying in the United Kingdom here are some things you may need to know:
Some beaches may get busy, but you still have to socially distance. If a beach gets too crowded, find another activity or quieter beach to go to. Local authorities and the police have the power to disperse large gatherings on a beach and elsewhere.
The RNLI stations are all operating, as they have throughout lockdown. The Lifeguards on beaches are returning to normal, and a list of beaches that they are covering can be found here.
Remember to slap on the sun lotion regularly, even if it is cloudy, and wear a hat. Most of us have been locked away for months on end, so have not had exposure to the sun. You may burn more easily. A useful guide to staying safe in the sun can be found on the Skcin website.
If beaches are not your thing, many attractions are now open, but many require pre-booking, even weeks in advance as they are limiting numbers. Some events, activities, rides or areas within may be closed in order to be cleaned or for social distancing, so please respect that. You may want to check with the attraction before you go what facilities, such as places to eat are open, or just take a picnic.
You may wish to go walking or hiking. If you are going into the hills or mountains, Mountain Rescue England and Wales have a guide to doing so safely on their website.
Many of us like a drink or two when on holiday, but like at home, hotels, pubs and bars have restrictions on numbers. Bear this in mind when every other holiday maker in your location is trying to get in the same pubs as you. Remember also, to drink in moderation. Alcohol, mixed with sun leads to dehydration. As the Police Federation stated early in July, it is "crystal clear" that drunken people cannot socially distance themselves.
Remember too that your accommodation, be it a camp site, caravan park, bed and breakfast or hotel also have rules and regulations to follow following COVID. Respect the rules.
People have, to a certain extent, had many of their freedoms taken from them this year. This has caused frustrations, leading to rule breaking, protests, illegal parties, and even venues or cities closing or locking down again.
Professor Chris Whitty, the Government's Chief Medical Officer has said many times that the virus is "a long way from gone".
Enjoy your holiday, however you spend it, but please remember the virus is still out there. Be sensible, and do not spoil it for everyone else. Lives may depend on it.