Staycations are a popular choice for those who fancy a getaway, without the hassle of travelling too far. And it comes as no surprise that many Brits have opted to stay in the UK for their annual trip this year, given the constant changes in travel advice.
However, while a holiday in the UK may appear to be the ‘safer’ option for those keen to get away, holidaymakers mustn’t be caught out by the differing Covid-19 restrictions between each UK nation.
For example, anyone over-18 living in or visiting Wales now needs to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test or be able to show they are fully vaccinated to legally attend large events. This means that if you’re visiting Wales for a night out on the town, to see a band in concert, or to visit any convention that has over 500 people in attendance, for example, you will need to show evidence of a Covid passport. Failure to do so may result in you being turned away from the event – and you probably won’t be entitled to a refund either.
But Wales isn’t the only UK nation with Covid-19 restrictions.
From 18 October, anyone entering clubs or large events in Scotland will also be required to prove they are fully vaccinated – unless they are medically exempt, under 18, or have participated in clinical trials. Again, failure to provide the necessary documentation may result in visitors being turned away.
Businesses and indoor venues in Northern Ireland are being asked to voluntarily introduce entry requirements that include vaccination proof, a negative lateral flow test result, or evidence of Covid infection in the last six months. Therefore, depending on where you go, you may be asked to provide proof of one of the above. In this instance, we would recommend researching venues that you are likely to visit during your trip to find out their entry requirements before you go.
Lastly, while Covid passports are not mandatory in England, some venues, such as theatres, do ask that visitors come with proof of their vaccine status as a precautionary measure. Covid passports remain under review in England and could be introduced this winter if infection rates increase.
We would strongly recommend that anyone planning an upcoming trip familiarises themselves with the Covid-19 restrictions in place for their holiday destination –whether that’s abroad or here in the UK – as travellers won’t be able to claim for any lost costs through their travel insurer if they are turned away from an event or country, as a result of not having the correct entry requirements.
We also suggest that holidaymakers invest in a ‘UK-specific’ or ‘staycation’ policy to protect their trip from any unfortunate mishaps. Many UK or staycation policies offer protection against disruption caused by Covid-19. For example, cancellation cover if any of the travelling parties catch Covid-19 before the trip and can no longer travel. Some policies even offer a benefit if travellers catch Covid-19 while on holiday and as a result have to isolate in their accommodation.
Staycation policies also typically include protection against accidental damage to rental properties, and some offer breakdown cover if the vehicle being travelled in decides to stop working on route to the holiday destination.
Staycation cover will vary between providers, so it is important to read the policy wordings to make sure you understand and are happy with the protection offered.