Two-thirds of England told to avoid holidays

More than 60 per cent of England’s population are advised against travel for “non-essential” reasons from today as parts of the country wake up to tougher Covid-19 restrictions.

From 00.01 this morning, people in London, along with parts of Hertfordshire and Essex, are living under Tier 3 rules – very high alert. As part of this, accommodation such as hotels and B&Bs must close, and people must avoid travelling outside the area they live in, including for overnight stays.

The move, described as “absolutely essential” by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, has thrown winter holiday plans into disarray for many, and increased pressure on the UK’s stricken travel industry.

Serena von der Heyde, who owns the Victorian House Hotel in the Lake District and Georgian House Hotel in London, said plunging more of England into Tier 3 was “devastating”.

“I can’t describe how difficult it is to run a business which is losing money for so long, to work so hard to generate enough sales to break even and then in a moment, to lose all that we have worked for again,” she added.

The co-owner of the Tudor Farmhouse in the Forest of Dean, Hari Fell, told The Telegraph that the hotel expects 70 per cent of bookings to cancel between Christmas and New Year.

“London and the South East is a huge market for us and the majority of our bookings for the rest of the month are from these areas. The other areas that are big for us were already in Tier 3 – Bristol and Birmingham,” she said.

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