Will hotels in the UK open after lockdown? The latest tier rules

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Will hotels open in the UK FOR CHRISTMAS?

Everyone is allowed to travel in the UK this Christmas, specifically between Wednesday 23 and Sunday 27 December (and from Tuesday 22 December for Northern Ireland). Outside that, with lockdown lifted on Wednesday 2 December, life in England is under a new three-tier system – so when we will travel depends on the tier that is allocated to where you live, and where you are going. Find out which tier specific areas fall under by using the government postcode checker, released on Thursday 26 November. As examples, London and Liverpool are in Tier 2, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds and the county of Kent are in Tier 3. The Isle of Wight, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are the only places in England in Tier 1. (Check out our guides to the best cottages in Cornwall and the best hotels in Cornwall.)

Hotels in Tiers 1 and 2 will reopen in time for Christmas, while hotels in Tier 3, along with restaurants and pubs, will be closed. The government confirmed that over Christmas some social restrictions will be relaxed, but the main message is: ‘Wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact.’ Tier system and travel rules and guidelines may be slightly different in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, so it is wise to check the relevant government sites for confirmation.

When will we travel? What the latest UK lockdown and local tier rules mean

Am I allowed to stay in an Airbnb property?


Much like hotels, overnight stays in Airbnb properties, private rentals, cabins and so on are permitted in Tier 1 and 2 destinations in England, though not in Tier 3. For inspiration, see our pick of the best Airbnbs in the UK.

Is it better to cancel or postpone if my Airbnb is in a Tier 3 area in England, or if the area I live in has been assigned to Tier 3?

We recommend you postpone your trip if at all possible, rather than cancel, both for your own wellbeing, and for the health of the travel industry and the many millions of people who rely on it. Read more on this below.

Will I be able to get a refund from my hotel or Airbnb in that same situation?

This depends on your hotel or Airbnb. Some may be willing to issue a refund, but many may prefer to offer to move the booking to a later date. In the case of Airbnbs, it depends on your individual host’s cancellation policy. If you are cancelling in order to adhere to government rules, you may receive travel credit or part of your money back, though you can then submit official documentation for review in order to request a full refund.

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