The tightening of United Kingdom measures to contain the advance of the COVID-19 pandemic is making it difficult for the British even to enjoy a staycations. The Boris Johnson Government has established a risk scale by zones according to the incidence of the virus that will make the situation even more confusing for those citizens who want to go on a trip to their own country in the coming weeks, given the different situation in which each area finds itself, according to the British specialized press. These measures are now in addition to the restrictions already imposed on foreign travel, such as quarantines for travelers from destinations that are outside their list of safe countries. Precisely, Italy was removed last Thursday from that list. (See France imposes a curfew in large cities from 9pm to 6am).
The risk scale covers level 1, medium, which implies the prohibition of meetings of more than six people and the closure of hospitality establishments from ten at night, while the 2, high, prevents any meeting between people who do not live under the same roof. The 3rd, the highest level of alert, also forces the closure of bars and pubs and it is recommended not to enter or leave these areas of greater restriction, as is the case of Liverpool.
A street in Liverpool, affected by alert level 3. Photo: EFE.
While level 2 does not prevent travel to those areas, any traveler will have to adapt to those stricter rules they have, since they will only be able to socialize with members of their own household or their stable coexistence bubbles, according to TTG. London and other areas are scheduled to move to this level over the weekend.
Also, while Britons living in Level 2 areas may travel to other parts of the country for a vacation, the Boris Johnson Government advises against taking “unnecessary” travel. In addition, they can only go on vacation with people from their home or their stable coexistence group
The Executive also advises against sharing a caravan or a private vehicle to travel with people who are not from the coexistence group.
A very different case is that of the places that are in level 3, which affects Liverpool. For these areas, the Government recommends travel only for work or studies, while those who reside in them can only leave if the trip is essential.
As if that were not enough, the Welsh authorities are preparing their own regulations to prevent people living in areas with high levels of contagion from moving to the region.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, although there are no travel restrictions at the moment, its prime minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has asked her citizens not to travel in the upcoming school holidays in October.
For its part, travel through Germany itself is also reeling from the increase in COVID-19 cases. This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed her dissatisfaction at not having achieved the consensus for the prohibition, or not, of overnight stays for travelers from areas considered risky in the country -That is, with more than 50 infections per week per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the criteria of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), competent in the matter.
There are currently more than 40 districts or cities classified as risk areas – including Berlin, Munich and other urban centers. It is estimated that the accommodation ban would affect about 14 million citizens, of the total of 83 million inhabitants of Germany
This measure is already applied in some Länder – federated states – but not in others, which has generated confusion between the citizen and the tourism sector, since in addition the numbers and incidence of infections vary daily. (See The German tourism sector warns of the ban on travelers from risk areas).
The positions were so divergent that it was not achieved, admitted Merkel; so that the matter has been deferred to a later meeting on 8 November, after the autumn school holidays.