If all goes according to plan, holidays with extended family members could be back on the cards on May 17. There are several hurdles to go until we reach that point, but the date, set out by Boris Johnson in his roadmap out of lockdown on February 22, offers a glimmer of hope for the many thousands of families and friends kept apart by the succession of lockdowns and local travel restrictions.
To be precise, that date in mid-May (which is highly subject to change) is when England’s social distancing rules will be relaxed and groups of six people, or two households, will be able to meet indoors. It is also the proposed date for the reopening of hotels. The devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are also working on plans to ease lockdown restrictions, and while these will almost certainly move at different paces, it seems as likely as not that domestic holidays will be possible across the UK by the summer.
After such a long period of separation, many extended families or friendship groups are looking forward to that first holiday together in what seems like an age, and travel firms are already witnessing a bookings boom as people rush to secure self-catered accommodation for the summer. With the additional benefits of high-end services and facilities – whether that’s surfing lessons or Covid-secure spa treatments – there are a number of hotels set up to meet this surge in demand for family reunions. Here’s our pick of the best.
New Forest, Hampshire, England
Ullswater, Lake District, England