Can I visit England or Wales from Scotland? How far you can travel in phase 2 and 3 of lockdown

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced updated guidelines on lockdown restrictions in Scotland, as the country continues with phase 2 of the route map

The government was previously asking Scottish residents “as far as possible to stay within or close to their local area”, with a five-mile guideline in place for leisure trips. However, from the five-mile travel limit has been lifted.

But can people in Scotland now travel to England or Wales as restrictions are relaxing? Here’s what you need to know.

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How far can I travel?

Can people in Scotland now travel to England or Wales as restrictions are relaxed? (Photo: Shutterstock)

The five-mile travel limit has been lifted and self-contained holiday accommodation is also now able to reopen. The travel change comes earlier than expected – initially, Ms Sturgeon suggested that it would be from 9 July, at the earliest.

Can I travel to England or Wales?

Scottish residents have been told they can travel further to visit family (outdoors and with social distancing measures in place), provided they can get there and back in a day. For example, if you lived in Dumfries you could go and see a relative across the border in Carlisle, a spokesperson for the Scottish Government told The Scotsman.

However, it’s not advised to travel too far, for example to places further south in England, or to Wales, since you wouldn’t be able to go there and come back in the same day.

Wales has just lifted its five-mile travel limit, meaning that visitors are now able to travel into and around Wales for the first time since the country entered lockdown measures in March.

The spokesperson added that people should “work from home wherever possible,” but if they need to work over the border in England they can.

As part of phase 2, anyone who lives on their own, or only with children under 18, is able to form an “extended household group” with one other household.

Those who are part of an extended household can meet indoors without physical distancing and stay overnight.

Ms Sturgeon urged caution, however, advising those who form extended households “must continue to see any other households outdoors only, and stay more than two metres apart from them.”

If your extended household is in England, you can travel there and stay over, but common sense should be applied.

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What about public transport?

Public transport will operate increased services, but still with a reduced capacity in order to allow for physical distancing.

Travelling at peak times is still discouraged, wherever possible.

Face coverings or masks are mandatory on all forms of public transport, including taxis and private hire cabs.

What else has changed in phase 2?

From 29 June, retail premises of all sizes (deemed essential or otherwise) reopened. However, they were only be able to do so if they had outdoor entrances and exits.

Indoor shopping centres will remain closed, except for access to essential shops such as supermarkets and pharmacists.

Outdoor markets were also able to reopen from 29 June, alongside outdoor playgrounds and outdoor sports courts.

Outdoor businesses including zoos and garden attractions also reopened on 29 June.

Dentists reopened on 29 June, but initially for urgent care.

From 3 July, self-contained holiday lodgings (such as cottages with no shared facilities) are permitted to reopen.

What will change in phase 3?

According to Nicola Sturgeon’s 24 June announcement, Scotland should move into Phase 3 of lockdown easing on Thursday 9 July. The First Minister stressed that this plan may be subject to change, depending on advice from health experts and scientists.

From 10 July, households will be permitted to meet more people outdoors, with physical distancing measures in place. From the same date, a household will be permitted to meet indoors with up to two other households, provided social distancing and hygiene measures are being observed.

Organised sport for children and young people should resume from 13 July. On that date, non-essential shops in indoor shopping centres will also be permitted to open again.

Early learning and childcare services will likely resume on 15 July, according to the current government plan.

Also on 15 July, tourism and all holiday accommodation can reopen. This includes museums, galleries, libraries and similar indoor locations reopen. However, live event venues, such as theatres and nightclubs, will not be permitted to open their doors at this stage.

All being well, pubs and restaurants should be able to open indoors on a limited basis from 15 July, as is the case for hairdressers and barbers. Other personal beauty services will not recommence trading on that date.