The UK opens up for the summer – what does it mean for visitors

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The UK opens up for the summer – what does it mean for visitors?

With the lockdowns of 2020 and early 2021 now behind it, the UK is properly opening up once more and, with open arms, welcoming back tourists, customers and patrons to its all its hotels, shops, restaurants and venues.

Yet, as the summer continues and more and more visitors plan a short break (or, indeed, a business trip) in the UK, they’ll doubtless be wondering exactly what restrictions are still in place and what that now means. If you’re looking to enjoy a London hotel deal, for instance, what can and can’t you do…?

What are the rules in England?

Generally speaking, many of the rules that restricted use of public spaces have now been removed; the emphasis being for people to exercise sense, restraint and caution, as they deem necessary. Indeed, there are no longer any rules when it comes to social-distancing (apart from in certain enclosed locations, such as hospitals and passport control areas at airports).

Limits have gone, too, on how many people can meet in public spaces or in homes, while the wearing of face coverings is no longer mandatory. However, many people are still choosing to wear them in indoor spaces like shops and other retail outlets. In fact, some shops and transport operators may well insist customers and travellers, respectively, wear them – for instance, on the London Underground Tube network (something critical to remember when getting around to and from, say, a Paddington hotel).

Additionally, all nightclubs can now open, while pubs and restaurants can serve every visitor normally and there are no limits on attendances of weddings, funerals, communal worship, concerts and theatre shows and sports events. Office-workers who had been able to work from home during the pandemic are now being encouraged to return to their offices, while fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to self-isolate, should they come into contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

What are the rules in Scotland?

Admittedly, although the Scottish Government has significantly eased many of its pandemic restrictions, it’s yet to embrace opening up to quite the degree England has. For instance, while social-distancing is no longer required, people don’t need to limit the size of any gatherings and all businesses and venues are allowed to reopen and function, face coverings remain compulsory on all public transport and in some shops, people are still being encouraged to work from home if possible and, should you visit an indoor venue, the owner is required to ask for and record your details in case of any positive cases among patrons when you’re there.

What are the rules in Wales?

Again, in Wales most restrictive rulings have been lifted. This means that, as in England and Scotland, people can meet indoors – in both private and public – as normal, nobody has to practice social-distancing, all businesses and venues (including nightclubs) can open and no fully vaccinated adults or those under 18-years-old need to self-isolate any more if they come into contact with someone who’s tested positive for Covid-19. Great news, then, for anyone wanting to use the amenities of an equivalent to a spa hotel London.

The caveats, though, are that people are still required to wear face coverings in the majority of indoor spaces, people are being encouraged to work from home as much as possible, businesses and venues need to carry out risk assessments in order to confirm no social-distancing of guests, customers and patrons is necessary and, finally, should anyone in the country test positive for Covid-19 or experience coronavirus symptoms they must self-isolate for 10 days.

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