The words of the iconic Chris Rea song ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ have never been more evocative than in 2020, especially the line “It’s been so long”! Though, hopefully, “top to toe in tailbacks” won't happen!
After months of being separated from our nearest and dearest, the Government has announced Covid Christmas 2020 plans that allow some degree of freedom.
So, what are the coronavirus travel rules for Christmas?
The biggest temporary change is bubbles getting bigger. You will be able to have up to three households together inside a private residence. In other words, you and two other households can get together for Christmas lunch, as long as it’s not in a hotel, restaurant, or pub.
This indoor Christmas Bubble extends from 23rd to 27th December. This could be vital for anyone who needs to stay overnight to enjoy Christmas with their family.
You will also be able to attend Christmas religious services together and spend time outdoors with your Christmas bubble.
Coronavirus Christmas Travel
Clearly, to get to your small Christmas gathering, you may have to cross Tiers and pass into areas which have previously discouraged visitors. This includes going from country to country within Britain. You have permission to do this for the same time frame mentioned above.
However, people based in Northern Ireland may have additional travel arrangements such as flights or ferries, so they can move around more freely from 22nd to 28th December.
Care Homes And COVID Christmas 2020
If you have a loved one living in a care home, there is more good news. When COVID restrictions ease over Christmas, according to the Government you can visit relatives in care homes in all tiers as long as social distancing, PPE and COVID-secure visiting areas are used. There are complex additional rules on this so it’s worth getting the latest updates from the official website.
Avoid Breaks And Breakdowns
Both the Government and automobile recovery companies are asking that you check your car carefully before engaging in permitted Coronavirus Christmas travel. Especially in winter road conditions, setting off in a vehicle that is not fully roadworthy may result in you putting your rescuers at risk.
You are also asked to avoid all but essential rest stops on your journey and to try to find the quietest times to move around during the Coronavirus Christmas travel period. Also, you can’t share car journeys with anyone outside your Christmas Bubble and if you head to Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland you must follow their national mandates.