Current lockdown rules and the success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme so far have seen coronavirus cases drop across the UK, allowing restrictions to ease over the next few weeks.
Several restrictions were lifted in England from Monday 29 March, including the ‘stay at home’ order, which has now been changed to advise people to ‘stay local’ where possible.
Scotland’s stay at home restrictions will ease from 2 April, as the Scottish Government changes the guidance to ‘stay local’ for at least three weeks.
But what does the ‘stay local’ rule mean for travel? Here’s what you need to know.
How far can I travel in England?
As of 29 March, people living in England no longer have to ‘stay at home’, with the guidance now changed to ‘stay local’ and ‘minimise travel’.
Guidance states that if you need to travel, this should only be done locally. As such, you should avoid travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live.
Rules say travel should be minimised where possible, meaning you should avoid making any unnecessary trips, and combine trips if you can.
You should also not stay away from home overnight for a holiday.
If you do need to travel, you should:
walk or cycle where possible avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport regularly wash or sanitise your hands wear a face covering on public transport, unless exempt stay two metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)
How far can I travel in Scotland?
Scotland lifted its ‘stay at home’ order on 2 April, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirming that the rule will be replaced to ‘stay local’ for at least three weeks.
Guidance states that you can travel up to five miles from the boundary of your local authority area from this date.
The Scottish Government is hoping to lift all restrictions on travel in mainland Scotland on 26 April.
Discussions will be held with island communities regarding the possibility of a faster return to more socialising and hospitality with restrictions on mainland travel to protect against importation of the virus.
How far can I travel in Wales?
The ‘stay local’ guidance in Wales was lifted on 27 March, meaning locals are now able to travel anywhere within its borders.
The rule change has seen Wales become the first UK nation to scrap travel restrictions within county boundaries since lockdown restrictions were put in place in winter.
As well as the change to travel rules, self-contained tourist accommodation have also reopened.
Self-contained holiday accommodation includes hotels with en-suite facilities and room service, as well as caravans and holiday homes where facilities are not shared. Guests staying at self-contained accommodation must be from the same household or support bubble.
Travel in and out of Wales will not be allowed until 12 April.
How far can I travel in Northern Ireland?
Northern Ireland’s stay at home guidance will be relaxed from 12 April, with rules due to change to a ‘stay local’ message.
Ministers have not confirmed the boundaries of the ‘stay local’ guidance, but current rules state that you should not travel more than 10 miles for exercise, so people should stay close to their home where possible.
From 1 April, locals will be allowed to exercise outside with people from another household, limited to 10 people from two households.
Six people from two households will also be allowed to meet in a private garden from this date.