Can I stay in a hotel in second lockdown?

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The announcement of a second nationwide lockdown has sent the already-struggling travel industry into a frenzy after months of closures and millions in losses. During the first lockdown, travel plans were put on hold and hotel reservations cancelled as the UK braced itself for months of closures. Many Brits have been left wondering whether they can still go on a domestic holiday, and if they will be able to stay in a hotel.

Can I stay in a hotel in the second lockdown?

The new Government guidance orders all non-essential shops and leisure facilities in England to close for one month.

The second lockdown will kick in at 12.01am on November 5 and is expected to end on December 2.

However, there is increasing speculation that the lockdown may be extended further than the given timeframe.

When asked whether it could be a possibility, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said “all bets are off” when it comes to the shutdown.

However, while millions of businesses will have to close, hotels are permitted to stay open – but only for essential stays.

The official guidance from the Government reads: “Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only stay open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.”

In reality, this means most hotels in England will be forced to close.

The new rules also mean you can’t stay in someone’s house over night unless they’re in your support bubble.

The guidance states: “Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed.

“This includes holidays abroad and in the UK.

“It also means you cannot stay in a second home, if you own one, or stay with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with.”

In Scotland, hotels staying open will depend on which of the five tiers the hotel is in.

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All holiday accommodation can stay open in regions that are level three or under in line with the Government’s guidelines.

However, as soon as an area enters level four all holiday accommodation must immediately close to tourists.

Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and self-catering accommodation can stay open for essential purposes, such as work.

Wales in currently in the middle of a “firebreak” lockdown, due to end on Monday, November 9.

During this time all accommodation businesses are required to close.

The Welsh Government has said, however, that “accommodation which is closed can continue to provide accommodation for anybody who is living there as their main residence as of 6pm on Friday, October 23, or is staying there at that time and is unable to return to their main residence.

“Accommodation businesses should ensure they do not unintentionally make anyone homeless as a result of closure – for advice they should contact the local authority housing options team.”

Local Authorities or Welsh Ministers are able to authorise hotels and guesthouses to offer other services while closed, such as housing key workers, patients, or homeless people.

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