UK holidays: Britons halt staycation plans as new ‘rule of six’ causes bookings collapse

Today, new rules on social gatherings have been put in place in England, Scotland and Wales. The new law means that no more than six people are allowed to socialise together in private homes, indoors and outdoors, pubs, restaurants, cafes and public outdoor spaces. In Scotland, the rule applies to a maximum to two households, while on Wales it applies the the same extended household.

In England, the rule applies to all ages while in Wales it does not apply to those under 11, and in Scotland under 12s.

The complex new rules have caused chaos for Britons planning holidays in the UK with extended family, a large family and friends and relatives.

And it already appears that the new rules are taking their toll on the UK’s travel industry.

Chair of the Professional Association of Self-Caterers (PASC) Alistair Handyside said: “Enquiries have fallen off a cliff over the weekend… Bookings are collapsing.

“What was a legal booking yesterday [is] now an illegal booking today.”

Another member of PASC told Telegraph Travel that 41 percent of its customers have had to cancel future bookings due to the government’s new law.

Meanwhile, 15 percent have reportedly amended their booking.

The remaining 44 percent were able to prove that their holidays would follow the government’s new rules.

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Holiday park group Hoseasons has said customers should not use their bookings if it breaches the government’s new rules.

They said on their website: “You should not be making use of your booking if doing so would be in breach of the new legislation applicable in the country in which your booked accommodation is located.”

They are advising affected customers to either “reduce the number of people or the make-up of the parties associated with the affected booking.”

They continued: “Cancel your existing affected booking and request a voucher so that you can make a new booking for a later date.

“Cancel your existing affected booking and request a cash refund of what you have paid.”

Owner of Dioni Holiday Cottages, Gwion Llwyd said that the new rules would be a “difficult pill to swallow”.

She said: “There’s no question that this is going to be tough for the owners of larger holiday cottages, and it’s a difficult pill to swallow when numbers here in Gwynedd are still low.

Mr Handyside voiced his concern over the upcoming half term period which families tend to book around this time of year.

He is hoping that children under 11 will not be included in the new rules for the half term period.

He added: “The least we can achieve is to get children under 11 excluded from the law in England, so that more families can holiday together over the critical half term period.”

The UK has recorded over 370,000 cases of coronavirus and over 41,000 deaths.

Yesterday, it recorded over 3,000 new cases in a day – the highest Sunday rise since mid-May.

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