For guests

Coronavirus FAQ

It’s likely you’ll have questions about your stay or any future bookings. While the situation is changing, here are our recommendations for what to do if you’ve booked a stay at a Sawday’s special place.

Can I still go on my UK holiday?  

The wellbeing of our guests and owners is the most important thing to us. Where you are travelling from, and where you are staying and when will all determine whether you can take your holiday as planned. In England, you can find the latest advice and restrictions here.

The UK government has outlined the four conditions that need to be met for the continued easing of lockdown restrictions in England.

The relaxation will be split into four phases, with the first phase having two parts. Full details of the governments phased plan (for England) are available here.

The specific areas that relate to Sawday’s guests and owners are:

Stage One (8 March)

  • two people from different households can meet outside for recreation, which can include “a coffee on a bench” or a picnic
  • weddings attended by up to six people can take place in any circumstances
  • rules still mean you should stay home and only leave work for essentials, work, exercise or medical appointments
  • no household mixing indoors or outdoors unless in a support or childcare bubble
  • non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues closed
  • pubs and restaurants closed, but takeaway food permitted
  • overnight stays away from home for the purpose of a holiday are not allowed.

Stage One (29 March)

  • people will be allowed to meet outside within the “rule of six” or with one other household. This will include private gardens
  • the stay at home law will end, but people are encouraged to stay local as much as possible.

Stage Two (12 April)

  • all shops allowed to open
  • restaurants and pub gardens will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors, including alcohol
  • gyms and spas can open for individuals and households
  • UK domestic holidays away from home will be permitted, including self-catering and camping stays for members of the same household
  • weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place.

Stage Three (no earlier than 17 May)

  • people can meet in groups of 30 outdoors
  • six people, or two households, can meet indoors
  • pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues can seat customers indoors
  • hotels, hostels and B&Bs can re-open
  • international travel can resume (subject to review).

Stage Four (no earlier than 21 June)

  • all legal limits on social contact to be lifted
  • no legal limits on the number of people who can attend life events, including weddings and funerals.

The latest review of Wales lockdown rules means that from 27 March

  • stay local restrictions will be lifted
  • self-contained accommodation can re-open
  • 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors, socially distanced.

Provided cases remain low, the following things will be permitted:

12 April

  • travel permitted into and out of Wales from the rest of the UK and Common Travel Area
  • all remaining non-essential retail and close contact services, like beauty salons, allowed to reopen.

26 April

  • outdoor hospitality reopening, including cafes, pubs and restaurants.

3 May

  • organised outdoor activities permitted for up to 30 people
  • outdoor wedding receptions attended by no more than 30 people.

10 May

  • people will be allowed to form extended households again, allowing two households to meet and have contact indoors
  • Gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen. Individual and one-to-one training will be allowed, but not exercise classes

The Welsh administration has said that after 17 May it would consider enabling indoor hospitality and remaining visitor accommodation to reopen in advance of the Spring Bank Holiday on 31 May.

The Scottish government has published its own Strategic Framework update, which you can find here. Like England, the Scottish framework will follow phased dates. The specific areas that relate to Sawday’s guests and owners are:

2 April

  • lifting the ‘Stay at Home’ requirement and replacing it with a ‘Stay Local’ message (retaining the current, local authority-based travel restrictions for at least a three-week period)

5 April – Assuming that all goes well, the next significant milestone for easing restrictions will be 5 April, when the plan is to ease a wider range of current restrictions in level 4 areas (some of these activities/settings are already permitted/open in Level 3 island communities) including:

  • reopening of non-essential ‘click and collect’ retail
  • extending the list of retail permitted
  • the prohibition of in-home socialising will continue to be kept under review at this date.

26 April – dependent on progress of the vaccination programme. This will likely include the following easings (some of these activities/settings are already permitted/open in Level 3 island communities)

  • extending outdoor socialising to permit up to 6 people from up to 3 households to gather
  • allowing 12-17 year olds to meet outdoors in groups of 6 from up to 6 households
  • travel within all of mainland Scotland permitted (subject to other restrictions that remain in place)
  • remaining shops can reopen and mobile close contact services can resume
  • gyms and swimming pools can reopen for individual exercise
  • tourist accommodation to reopen (self-catering accommodation to be restricted in line with rules on indoor gathering)
  • work in people’s homes to resume
  • weddings and funerals for up to 50 (including wakes and receptions with no alcohol permitted)
  • libraries, museums, galleries re-open
  • outdoor hospitality to open till 10pm with alcohol permitted. Indoor hospitality permitted without alcohol and closing at 8pm
  • social mixing in indoor public places will be subject to current maximum of 4 people from up to 2 households
  • the prohibition of in-home socialising will continue to be kept under review at this date.

17 May – the Scottish administration hopes to introduce the following easings:

  • re-introducing in-home socialising for up to 4 people from up to 2 households
  • further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 10.30pm indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 10pm outdoors with alcohol permitted
  • cinemas, amusement arcades and bingo halls can re-open subject to capacity constraints
  • small scale indoor and outdoor events can resume subject to capacity constraints (to be confirmed following stakeholder engagement)
  • non-professional performance arts can resume outdoors.

Early June – the Scottish first minister won’t give specific dates beyond May, but the following has been given as a broad sense of likely timings by this time:

  • up to 6 people from up to 3 households can socialise indoors in a home or public place
  • up to 8 people from 3 households can socialise outdoors
  • 8 12-17 year olds can meet socially from 8 households outdoors
  • hospitality can remain open until 11pm
  • attendance at events can increase, subject to capacity constraints
  • increased numbers at life events and places of worship subject to stakeholder engagement
  • casinos, funfairs and soft play can open, subject to capacity constraints.

From end of June

  • up to 6 people from up to 3 households can socialise indoors in a home or public place
  • events increase numbers subject to capacity constraints
  • increased numbers at life events and places of worship subject to stakeholder engagement.

Northern Ireland has extended its lockdown until 12 April.

We would advise looking at regional restrictions in the area you live, and the area you wish to travel, for the most up-to-date advice.

If your booking isn’t within the next three weeks, we advise that you wait until nearer the time so that we all have the latest Government advice.

Can I still go on my European holiday?  

If you live in the UK, you are currently not allowed to leave the country unless it is for essential travel. For future European bookings please check the current FCO advice, please also be aware that the UK has a mandatory self-isolation period for those arriving in the UK from abroad. There are exemptions to this self-isolation for people arriving into England from a specific list of countries, via travel corridors. In the 4-step plan to ease lockdown, the government identified that international travel from England would be allowed to return in stage three (no earlier than 17 May), subject to review. 

The Welsh and Scottish administrations have their own guidelines regarding international travel, as does Northern Ireland

If you have booked an international stay and the current FCO advice is not to travel to that region, your travel insurance should provide you with a full refund. Please check your policy. 

Is it OK to book a UK holiday now? 

Yes, you can still book a Sawday’s holiday for a future stay. Many places are already seeing very high demand for stays in summer 2021 and even into 2022. If you’ve got your eye on a particular place, we would recommend getting in touch sooner rather than later.

We would advise looking at regional restrictions in the area you live, and the area you wish to travel to before making any booking. Chat with the owner of the place you are interested in staying to discuss their terms and conditions and ensure you are comfortable with any restrictions or requirements. 

Should I buy travel insurance? 

It’s always a good idea to have comprehensive travel insurance. We recommend you take out a policy that covers you in the event of cancellation and has good medical coverage for international trips. Your coverage in the event of coronavirus-related problems will depend on your insurer. Please contact them if you have questions.

If I develop symptoms whilst staying in a Sawday’s place, what should I do?  

If you develop coronavirus symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate, inform the owner and book a test. If you are confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19), you should return home if you reasonably can. There is more information for accommodation providers in England on the official government website here. The Welsh government website also has specific guidance. There are also resources for those in Scotland and Northern Ireland

If I am asked to self-isolate due to Test & Trace whilst staying in a Sawday’s place, what should I do?  

Our absolute priority is the health of our guests, owners and society as a whole and it’s important that we all work together to keep everyone safe and well. If you, or a member of your party, is asked to self-isolate during your stay, please follow the Government advice. You should inform the owner of the Sawday’s place as soon as possible and discuss the impact on your stay.

If I have an upcoming stay and I, or a member of my party, have tested positive for Coronavirus or have been asked to self-isolate due to Test & Trace when I am due to travel, what happens to my booking?   

Our absolute priority is the health of our guests, owners and society as a whole and it’s important that we all work together to keep everyone safe and well. If you, or a member of your party, has tested positive for Coronavirus or are asked to self-isolate, please follow the Government advice. If you have a booking that you think may be affected by any government health measures, we recommend that you get in touch with the owner directly to discuss their individual terms and policies relating to your stay. Wherever possible we would advise that if your stay cannot go ahead as planned, you consider changing your dates rather than cancelling.

I’m worried about the hospitality industry; how can I help? 

It goes without saying that these are unprecedented times in the travel industry. Sawday’s has been championing small and independent businesses for over 25 years now, and we intend to do so for many years to come. We urge you to keep an eye on your favourite hotel, pubs and inns’ social media pages; many are offering new innovations such as vouchers or delivery services that you may be able to support. If you have a booking in the next few weeks, please consider changing your dates rather than cancelling. The majority of owners are being flexible, enabling guests to do this and you’ll be supporting their small independent businesses.

Further advice 

It is important that all guests follow the latest Government advice and guidelines.

Last checked:  6 April 2021