When can I stay over with friends? All you need to know as lockdown ends

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Lockdown was further eased on Monday, April 12, as non-essential shops were allowed to reopen alongside outdoor hospitality and gyms. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged caution, warning people not to overdo things and continue sticking to safety measures like mask-wearing and adhering to social distancing guidelines when out and about. The vaccination progress continues in the UK, with most people having had at least one dose of the vaccine and bodes well for the future of unlocking further measures.

When can I stay over with friends?

In England, overnight stays away from home are now allowed – but only in self-contained accommodation.

Government guidance states that accommodation that doesn’t need shared use of bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities have been allowed to go ahead since April 12.

However, this accommodation should only be used by members of the same household or support bubble.

This means if you’re not in a support bubble or live in the same households with the friends you want to stay over with, you can’t right now.

Staying in someone else’s house isn’t allowed until step three of the lockdown roadmap, which comes into effect on May 17.

Current Government guidance states: “You cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so.

“This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed.

“This includes staying in a second home, caravan or boat, if that is not your primary residence.

“This also includes staying with anyone who you don’t live with unless they’re in your support bubble.”

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that all holiday accommodation can reopen from April 26.

Travel within all of mainland Scotland will also be allowed on this date, if things go well.

This includes hotels, B&Bs, self-catering accommodation, caravan parks and camping sites, which will open alongside non-essential shops.

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From this date onwards, people will be permitted to stay overnight with members of their household or support bubble.

However, mixing indoors with other households will continue to be banned.

The earliest date for allowing overnight stays with another households in Scotland is May 17, when the Scottish Government is allowing up to four people from two households to mix indoors.

In Wales, self-contained tourist accommodation is now open in Wales.

This includes hotels with en-suite facilities, caravan and holiday homes where facilities are not shared.

However, guests staying at self-contained accommodation must be from the same household or support bubble under current rules.

The earliest date when different households are expected to be able to meet indoors, including for overnight stays, is May 10.

In Northern Ireland, it hasn’t yet been confirmed when overnight stays with a different household will be allowed, but again, this is only likely to be in stage three of the country’s roadmap, dates for which haven’t yet been announced.

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