JOIN our family travel Facebook community run by travel experts – helping you to navigate Covid & holidaysJOIN NOW

Can I go on a UK holiday in tier 2 or tier 3?

Easy-to-understand answers to your questions on UK travel ahead of half-term

By Lyndsey Thomas – 20th Oct 2020

The question on many a person’s lips right now (including my own) –  “Can I get away for a couple of nights in the UK somewhere next week?”


So I’ve done a little digging and here’s the answers to those all-important questions for anyone wanting to escape the everyday in the half-term hols – Please note, this all could change at any time.


Before I get into the complexities of the three tier system in England – let’s dissect the lingo:

  • Medium alert areas are tier 1 areas
  • High alert areas are tier 2 areas
  • Very high alert areas are tier 3 areas
  • The central belt of Scotland covers Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian, and Forth Valley.



1) Are breaks allowed if I’m in a tier 2 area in England?

Yes, breaks in England are still allowed if you are heading to a tier 2 area – hotels and self-catering accommodation remain open in England.

The government advises people in tier 2 areas should “aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible” and avoid public transport. Take the car!


2) Who can I go away with?

You can only go away with people within your own household or your support bubble, and you can’t mix with others.


3) Can I escape to another part of the country if I live in a tier 3 area?

Government guidance is clear that people in tier 3, which includes the Liverpool City Region (and the Greater Manchester region from Friday this week), should not travel to other parts of the UK or stay overnight outside their area.


4) I’m in tier 3 and I’ve booked a UK holiday / I’ve booked a holiday in a tier 3 location – where do I stand with my booking?

Quoted directly from Which “If you have a UK holiday booked, you should contact the provider and ask for postponement or if that doesn’t suit, a full refund. As with previous lockdowns some holiday cottage companies and other service providers may dispute refunds. We believe, based on CMA guidance, that those affected by Tier 3 lockdowns are due a refund.”

Source: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/10/travel-and-holiday-rules-for-tier-2-and-tier-3-restrictions-qa/


4) Can I travel from a higher tier to a lower tier and vice versa?

The Government is urging people to avoid travelling in and out of the “high” and “very high” alert areas, unless it is necessary. ‘High’ being tier 2 and ‘very high’ being tier 3.

Observe the law at all times and refer to point one if you need more clarification on this if you are in, or wanting to travel to a tier 2 area.


5) What about if I live in tier 1?

There are no specific travel restrictions in place if you want to travel to another region under “medium alert” (tier one). This means you can holiday in anywhere in England that falls under tier 1.

If you’re in tier 1 you can travel with people from other households and stay in private accommodation such as holiday home, but only in groups of six and under.

You can also stay in a hotel or B&B with another household (groups of six and under), although you should avoid sharing bedrooms and avoid socializing indoors.

If you live in tier 1 and want to travel to tier 2, refer to point 1 and always observe the law.


Travelling to Wales

Travel to Wales is banned from tier 2 and tier 3 areas in England, from the central belt of Scotland and all of Northern Ireland.

Wales has announced it will have a complete lockdown from Friday, 23 October until Monday, 9 November – all non essential travel, such as for holidays, is banned.


Travelling to Scotland

There are currently no rules against travelling to Scotland from England – or vice versa. However, Visit Scotland requests that living in a part of England with tighter restrictions, only travel to Scotland if it is essential.

Scotland has advised people to stay away from the central belt.

Hotels and self-catered accommodation remains open.

However, you must only go on holiday with your own household, up to six people, or an extended household, which includes someone who lives by themselves.

Unlike England, this does not include children under the age of 11, so you can have up to six adults or teenagers.


Apparently there are more ‘specific’ details to be confirmed regarding the regulations relating to travel for each tier and these will be confirmed tomorrow. So any of the above could change and brace yourself for more confusion.


Travelling abroad

The government guidance is less clear when it comes to overseas holidays. You’re still allowed to travel through Tier 3 areas to reach airports, ports and railway stations, which can remain open.

But given the advice is not to leave your area, that would seem to include overseas travel.

Unfortunately because the guidance is unclear and isn’t in law, operators and airlines can still operate and it may prove difficult to get a refund.


So there you have it, as clear as mud can be.


Need a little UK staycation inspiration and want to experience a destination like a local?

check out our series of ’48hrs In’ articles and itineraries from our Girl About Ambassadors across the UK. These fabulous 2-day itineraries are packed with under-the-radar ideas and suggestions in their cities and counties for where to eat, sleep and have fun  –  you will find them all HERE 

Lyndsey Thomas
Share it on your own social media channels or with friends


Become a Girl About Travel Club member and benefit from our travel concierge service, itineraries, rewards, offers, discounts, resources, retreats and more!

Featured Articles & Sponsored Posts