What you need to know about going to the beach during lockdown

Beaches could be crowded over the next few weeks (Getty Images)Beaches could be crowded over the next few weeks (Getty Images)
Beaches could be crowded over the next few weeks (Getty Images)

Naturally, sun worshippers will be looking to make up for lost time and head to their nearest stretch of coastline when the sun makes an appearance – especially with holidays to popular destinations such as Spain and France currently off-limits.

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Before you pack up your beach towel, don your shades and head to your nearest coastal beauty spot make sure you’re aware of the rules for visiting beaches during lockdown.

Here’s what you need to know.

Am I allowed to visit the beach? 

Yes – people are permitted to visit beaches across the UK.

You can meet in all outdoor settings permitted to open, including beaches.

Am I allowed to meet with friends at the beach? 


You should continue to minimise the number of people you meet within a short period of time to limit the risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19).

Most restrictions on meeting people outdoors have been lifted, but gatherings must not exceed 30 people unless covered by a legal exemption.

You can meet up indoors with friends and family you do not live with, either:

in a group of up to 6 from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6)

in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible)

If you are meeting friends and family, you can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be cautious.

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Can I travel to beaches outside my local area in the UK?

Yes – travel between England, Scotland and Wales is now permitted.

Travel to areas where the new variant is prevalent should, however, be kept to a minimum.

In Scotland, people in Glasgow should avoid leaving the local area.

When travelling you should:

- walk or cycle where possible

- 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 you’re exempt

- make sure the space is well ventilated. Open windows or take other actions to let in plenty of fresh air

How to protect nature at the beach

When visiting the seaside it is worth taking the following steps to protect nature:

- take all of your litter home

- keep dogs under effective control and on a lead when you are around farm animals - read further guidance for pet owners

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- leave gates as you find them and follow instructions on signs

- keep to paths and follow signs where they suggest alternative routes

- check if facilities are open to visitors (for example, car parks and toilets)