London moves into tier 3: what does this mean for travel?

The government has announced this afternoon that London will be moving from tier 2 into tier 3, following a substantial rise in Covid infections in the city.

This announcement will have an impact on people travelling in and out of the city over Christmas.

Domestic travel

Domestic travel between different cities within the UK is allowed but there are restrictions that must be adhered to if you are travelling from a higher tier to a lower tier.

The government does advise that you ”should avoid travelling outside your area”, for an overnight stay, unless for the following reasons: for work; for education; to access voluntary, charitable or youth services; caring responsibilities; for moving home; to visit your support bubble or for a medical appointment or treatment.

The government state that if you live in a Tier 3 area and are absolutely required to travel, then you must continue to follow Tier 3 rules if you are going into a Tier 1 or Tier 2 area. The government also say that you must not stay with anyone you do not live with elsewhere in the UK or visit their home, unless you share a support bubble.

International travel

The government has said that there will be no legal impediment to travelling in and out of the country if you are in tier 3, but the strong guidance is that you should avoid travelling in and out of the area unless absolutely necessary.

Moreover, if you are planning to travel abroad, you must make sure that you are aware of current isolation restrictions that may be in-place, either on arrival at your destination, or on your return to the UK. There is comprehensive list of all countries currently on the travel-corridor list on the government’s Coronavirus website.

Christmas travel

To make matters slightly more confusing, the Tier 3 travel rules don’t apply to anyone during the Christmas period between December 23 and 27. During this period, you are able to travel across the the country to meet with your Christmas bubble, however, pubs and bars will still be closed in tier 3 areas during this time.


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