With the UK vaccination programme rattling along and Covid-19 cases continuing to fall, the likelihood of being able to enjoy more days out and family holidays continues to increase.
Indeed, there has been great news this week, with a study showing that of a sample of 74,000 patients admitted to hospital with the disease, just 32 had been vaccinated more than three weeks before, meaning the initial benefits had fully kicked in.
All that suggests the summer may be much nearer the old ‘normal’ than imagined, and certainly more so than last year. Therefore, now could be a very good time to start planning some great summer trips.
Of course, there will be people whose biggest aim is to enjoy a foreign holiday, but slower roll-outs and uncertainties over what will be permitted mean that remains uncertain, at least for now.
If you are planning a UK holiday, planning and booking the trip itself should be only a part of what you must do in preparation. You also need to make sure your car is ready for a long journey and the possibility that you might be driving around to a lot of attractions.
Apart from having your car checked out to make sure the engine, tyres and other moving parts are all in good order, there could be no better time than now to put in an online order for cheap car air fresheners. These will ensure you can undertake long road trips without any unpleasant whiffs.
The Current Situation
The current situation in England is that we are now in the second phase of the roadmap for opening up from lockdown, which means quite a lot of new opportunities have emerged this month. This means, for instance, that people can meet with friends outside under the rule of six, enjoy outdoor hospitality at a pub or restaurant, visit a zoo or safari park, or go to a theme park.
In addition, because people are no longer obliged to stay local, a drive into the countryside or to the beach is now permitted, while self-contained holiday lets are also open, meaning a getaway is possible already.
The Next Step
The next stage to look out for is the possible third phase on May 17th. This is when indoor hospitality will open, outdoor concerts, theatre and cinemas will become available, indoor events with limited capacity will be permitted, sports venues will start to enjoy limited crowds and weddings will be able to take up to 30 people.
All that will open up more events for people to drive to, and if the final step is possible on June 21st, all the remaining restrictions will be lifted. At that point, there will be no more constraints on what people can do and whether it is driving off on holiday, attending a festival or going to a summer sporting event like a cricket match or Wimbledon, everything will be possible.
The Situation In The Rest Of The UK
The above plans apply to England and the situation may differ if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, or plan to visit there. The Welsh rules are not quite set out with the same detail, but the direction of travel towards opening up is the same. Indeed, from April 26th outdoor hospitality and visitor attractions will be opening.
In Scotland, the system is different, with level 4 restrictions applying in most places and a few islands at level 3. Motorists can drive to anywhere in Scotland to have a rule of six meeting, so in theory someone living in a Borders town like Hawick or Dumfries could travel all the way to Inverness or Wick, although you cannot stay overnight yet.
Of course, the idea of a big day out in spring or summer is about more than just the easing of Covid rules; it’s also about experiencing the joys of long daylight hours, warmer temperatures and- hopefully - lots of sunshine.
Indeed, there is no better reason to order lots of goodies online for a picnic, day out or holiday than seeing a weather forecast predicting soaring temperatures. It won’t just be about nice food or cold drinks as you’ll need some sun cream too.
It’s too soon to talk about a barbecue summer of course - and the last time the forecasters said that was the notorious blunders of 2009 and 2012, when their prediction was followed by one of the wettest summers on record. Then again, based on the same data they were reluctant to make such a prediction for 2013, which turned out glorious.
However summer turns out, however, by keeping your car smelling great you’ll still have some much more pleasant road journeys.