Restrictions on travelling to other places in the UK will lift in the coming months (Picture: Getty)
With certain restrictions being eased, the question of visiting other properties has also come up – and with holiday season looming and staycations on the cards due to the current restrictions on foreign travel, does that mean they can now visit second homes, such as holiday homes?
Here’s what you need to know…
Can I visit my second home as lockdown eases?
From April 12, according to the roadmap out of lockdown, we can expect ‘stay at home’ restrictions to be lifted in England.
Staycations will return, meaning holiday lets can reopen provided they are used by individuals or household groups only.
This also includes staying with anyone who you don’t live with unless they’re in your support bubble.
Currently, you cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so – meaning that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed.
This includes staying in a second home, caravan or boat, if that is not your primary residence.
Although the general rule is that staying somewhere else is not allowed, there are certain exceptions to this.
For example if you are a student who has been living in halls of residence but wants to move back in to their family home during lockdown, they are allowed to do so.
If you need to stay overnight somewhere other than your primary residence for work purposes – if you are a critical worker, for example, who cannot get home after a shift or needs to isolate from their family – you are permitted to use a hotel or other accommodation which has stayed open for this purpose.
In Scotland, there is also a stay at home message in place, meaning you cannot visit a second home.
However, if you are living in a Level 3 area you can travel to your second home (including to a second home let as self-catering accommodation) and stay there with members of your household (or extended household only) if it is in the same level 3 local authority area as your usual home location.
Lots of people are still moving house despite the lockdown (Picture: Getty)
In Wales, travel in and out of the country is not permitted unless there is a reasonable excuse, while travel within the country is also limited to within the local area.
Government advice states owners may need to check, inspect, or maintain their property in preparation of accepting bookings for when self-contained accommodation trips reopen on March 27.
However, they encourage work to be undertaken by someone ‘locally if possible in order to minimise travel outside of the local area’.
If this is not possible, then you are permitted to travel for these preparation purposes only but you, or anyone acting on your behalf, must not stay overnight at the property.
The same rules apply to caravans, boats and other temporary accommodation.
In Northern Ireland, from April 12, subject to a review after Easter, the ‘stay at home’ message that came into force at the start of the lockdown will be relaxed.
However, there will continue to be a ‘stay local’ message.
It has not yet been revealed if people will be able to visit their second homes under the ‘stay local’ guidelines.
What are the rules on second homes abroad?
Currently, travel abroad is forbidden – and anyone found to be going on holiday from England will be liable to a £5,000 fine which comes into force next week as part of new coronavirus laws.
However, the new regulations which MPs will vote on the rules on Thursday, allows travel to visit properties, estate agents, sales offices or show homes overseas if a person is seeking to buy or sell a foreign home.
These new laws will come into effect on March 29 if the MPs agree in the vote.
Can you move house during lockdown?
In England, people can still go ahead with plans to move house – as long as social distancing and other measures are adhered to.
Moving house was off the cards during lockdown (Picture: Ella Byworth for metro.co.uk)
Scotland has the same measures in place with people able to move home in all protection levels, and to and from areas with different levels.
Moving house is also permitted in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Estate agents have also been allowed to remain open, provided they can stick to Covid-19 safety rules – which include potential clients being allowed in by appointment only, and asking customers if they or anyone in their household has coronavirus symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate.
Agents are also being advised to offer online first viewings to potential customers, with in-person viewings only encouraged if a client is seriously interested in making an offer on a property.
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