Should I pack a mask? Where is the hand sanitiser? What’s a lateral flow test and do I need to do one? What are the current lockdown travel rules UK for the place I’m going and why are they all different!?
Traveling in 2021 is no mean feat.
Whether it’s temperature check, private covid tests, lateral flow tests or the dreaded quarantine a simple plane journey has now become an exercise in jumping through hoops.
Not to mention if any of these checks returns a positive result you could have wasted a lot of time and money only to be told you cannot go on holiday.
Luckily, Northern Ireland is in the UKs common travel area (CTA) which means for UK based travelers the confusing traffic light system thankfully does not apply. Northern Ireland uses the lockdown travel rules UK as its guide for Covid protocol.
But there are still rules that need to be followed when holidaying in Northern Ireland and some are slightly different to the rest of the UK.
We’ll be detailing these rules in this article and explaining what you can and cannot do when you’re on holiday in Northern Ireland.
What are the current rules in Northern Ireland?
Like everywhere else in the UK the 2 metre social distancing rule apples and masks must be worn on public transport and moving around inside public buildings and hospitality venues.
Currently up to six people from no more than two households can stay together overnight in a holiday accommodation. Children aged under 12 aren’t included in this number. This means single household families are fine for holiday trips to Northern Ireland, especially if they’re staying in a self contained accommodation like a static caravan.
From the 5th of July (subject to review) 10 people from two households can meet inside a home. This number is increased to 15 if a household has more than ten people living in it. This might not sound super relevant to your caravan holiday in Northern Ireland but these new rules will allow you to plan bigger family get-togethers.
If you’re planning a holiday with extended family then these new rules make this a whole lot easier.
There’s also a 15 person limit placed on the number of people you can meet outside but from any number of households. So if you made some friends on your holiday you can meet them in a group of up to 15 people on your caravan decking or in an outdoor communal area.
Can you go to the pub?
As of now, yes.
But social distancing must be followed and you cannot sit in a group bigger than 6. Like everywhere else in the UK you’ll need to fill out a contact form or use a track and trace app to provide the NHS with your details in case you get exposed to an infected person.
Currently no dancing or live music is permitted but this is set to be reviewed on the 5th of July.
Lockdown travel rules UK: is it still safe to travel?
Because Northern Ireland is part of the UK it is also part of the common travel area (CTA) this means it isn’t on the UK’s travel traffic light lists like Portugal or France. This is because, although it’s over the sea from Britain, it’s essentially the same country.
Also, as of the 24th of May, the advice from Northern Ireland healthcare professionals to “stay local” relaxed. Minister’s decided it was time to move away from that messaging and focus more on individual behaviour and responsibility than setting strict limits on where people could travel too.
Officials in Northern Ireland are now allowing travel in and out of the area so locals can see friends and family in other parts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. This also means recreational travel to Northern Ireland is allowed too. But there are some rules to follow and hoops to jump through before you can enjoy your family holiday in one of our static caravans.
Before you travel to Northern Ireland you must take a lateral flow test (LFD). This is a very quick, although slightly uncomfortable, test to let you know your Covid status. You should only travel if the test is negative.
When traveling, if you’re on public transport you must adhere to social distancing and wear a face covering.
Once you return from your trip to Northern Ireland you should also do a lateral flow test 2 and 8 days after your return. If either of those results come back positive you’ll have to isolate yourself and everyone you went on holiday with.
Ready to go on a caravanning holiday?
Northern Ireland is a great holiday destination and right now it’s one of the few places in the world you can travel to without worrying about restrictions changing. If you’re UK based and looking to get away for a summer holiday Northern Ireland is the perfect location.
At Encore Parcs we have a large selection of caravans to rent or buy for family getaways. You can see our available caravans here or contact us for more details.