Likelihood of getting to your second home now: Depends where it is
England now has a three-tier lockdown rule: Tier One (medium), Tier Two (high), Tier Three (very high). Different parts of the country are at different levels.
Tier One what we’ve all been in most recently, with pubs and restaurants subject to a 10pm closing time, no one to meet in groups larger than six indoors our out, unless you’re part of a larger household or a support bubble.
When you move into Tier Two, you can no longer meet socially with people you don’t live with indoors, including private homes, pubs and restaurants. You can still meet friends or family outdoors but only in groups of up to six. London, Essex, Elmbridge in Surrey, Barrow in Furness in Cumbria, York, North East Derbyshire, Chesterfield and Erewash in Derbyshire.
Those in Tier Three aren’t allowed to meet socially with anyone outside your own household or support bubble or certain outdoor location. You cannot meet in private or pub gardens but you can meet in parks, on beaches, in countryside and forest, but only in a group of six or less.
The number of people who can gather together socially outdoors stands at six and from midnight on Friday, only people within the same household will be able to gather indoors.
Pubs and bars must close unless the are serving substantial meals and alcohol can only be served with a meal. People are being advised not to drive in or out of Tier 3 areas except for work, education, youth services or because of care responsibilities.
Only the Liverpool City Region is classed as Tier Three at the moment although Greater Manchester is being considered for it.
The two-metre distancing rule has been reduced to what they’re calling ‘one-metre plus.’ This means two metres should be maintained where there is the option to do so and where it isn’t, it should be one metre with additional measures such as masks, in place.
The government is once again telling people to work from home if they can and avoid public transport where you have the option to do so. Face coverings are now mandatory on all public transport, as they are in shops, supermarkets and banks.
Hotels, self-catering accommodation and campsites are allowed to be open, although indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas will have to remain closed for now.
Oliver’s Travels, which has houses at home and abroad, has launched a ‘Book with confidence’ pledge, meaning you can postpone your stay up to 14 days before departure without a problem.
The reason all this is relevant is because the reawakening of the rental market signals the beginning of a much bigger movement to kick-start tourism again. In many parts of the UK this will involve re-selling to locals the idea that outsiders coming in will benefit them and their economy. So it should help those with second homes feel welcomed back by the communities into which they have bought.
For those chomping at the bit to re-book their regular seat aboard the Great Western Railway down to second homes in Devon and Cornwall, the service is now back up to at least 84% of its service. Now the ban on non-essential travel within the UK has been lifted, it is a viable option once more.