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How to make plans in the UK in unpredictable circumstances

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, making plans over the past year has been pretty pointless. But with the announced roadmap of our way out of lockdown, life could look a lot more normal in the UK over the next few months. Hurrah! 

But what plans should we start making? And how should we go about it? Read on for all the advice you need on how to make plans in uncertain times.  

Have fun in the sun with friends 

Sick of going for walks with just one companion? Well, from 29 March we’ll be able to meet outdoors in groups of up to six people. So an Easter gathering might not be an option indoors, but an outdoor picnic certainly is. And you could even get into the seasonal spirit and organise an egg-hunt—fun with kids or without!

Also from the end of March, coinciding with the school holidays, outdoor sports will again be permitted. So get out your tennis racket or your golf club and make a booking before the spaces fill up. 

Enjoy some food and drink in a pub garden

As things currently stand, from 12 April pubs will reopen for outdoor food and drinks. An alfresco meal in spring is definitely more appealing than when the last lockdown was lifted in December. But it can still be chilly and wet, so look for pubs that have covered areas outside. A lot was put up towards the end of 2020 to accommodate the rules in previous lockdowns, but it’s worth finding out before you book. 

Check before booking holidays abroad

After a year of being stuck at home, we’re all desperate to go abroad. And the good news is that from the end of June, this is looking possible. There are a number of things to bear in mind, however. 

Check what restrictions are in place where you’re going. Some countries will allow you to travel once you’ve been vaccinated, while others will welcome you even if you haven’t. Be aware, though—you might need Covid tests before and after your trip at your own cost. Factor this into your budget. 

Read your airline’s cancellation policy. Some will offer a full refund if the flight is cancelled, but others might only give you a voucher. Also, check the rules for your return. Visiting some countries currently requires you to quarantine in a hotel. This may change come the summer, but it’s worth proceeding with caution. 

Keep your holiday local  

You don’t have to travel halfway around the world to feel like you’re getting a holiday. At the moment, any change of scenery will do the trick. So if you’re planning to get away over the summer, consider keeping it local. 

If you’re booking a hotel or an apartment, check the cancellation policy carefully in case the Covid situation changes. Also, consider camping. It’s a cost-effective option that’s great for when the weather gets warmer—and low-risk when it comes to Covid, too.  

See the year’s big releases at the cinema

In normal circumstances, you probably wouldn’t get excited about a cinema trip several weeks away. But these aren’t normal times. And with the Oscars delayed this year to 26 April, there’ll be some top quality releases that you’ll want to see on the big screen. 

17 May is the date for when cinemas across the country are reopening. Social distancing will be in place, meaning fewer tickets than normal, so make sure to book early. 

Be cautious if planning a mass gathering

21 June is the magical date we’re looking forward to when restrictions on social contact will be lifted in the UK. Woohoo! But at the risk of being killjoys, you might want to hold off immediately planning a full-on party.

As we’ve seen over the past year, the unpredictable nature of Covid means that the rules can very quickly change. It’s worth seeing whether the initial easing of restrictions brings about a spike in cases. If it does, then perhaps delay the invites. If not, then let the celebrations begin…

Be flexible

Whatever you plan in the coming weeks and months, flexibility is key. For example, if you’ve got a week booked abroad and it can’t go ahead, have you got a more local back-up option?  

It’s also important not to be overly ambitious in your planning. We’ve all got used to being disappointed over the past year when events are cancelled. But if we lose a lot of money in the process it’s even harder to take. Plan smaller treats in accordance with the rules being lifted. After a year we’ve all had, they’ll feel much bigger. 

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2021-03-22

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