The Scottish Government last night issued updated information regarding Christmas bubbles and whether they can stay in tourist accommodation such as self-catering properties.
This change comes following widespread concern in the sector and is intended to clarify the current, often confusing situation regarding travel and accommodation restrictions over the Christmas period.
You can read the full guidance on the Scottish Government website but the upshot is:
- a bubble can meet in self-catering accommodation, but only if one of the party lives in the same local authority area; i.e. that means one member at least of every party must live within the Moray boundary.
- It is down to the operator (you) to confirm that this is the case at point of booking (for those of you operating via OTA’s, Air BnB etc, this is almost impossible).
Would encourage you to familiarise yourself with these updated regulations.
Can my bubble stay in self-catered accommodation?
We recognise that people will not always have a house big enough to accommodate a Christmas bubble. The law therefore lets a bubble meet in self-catered accommodation (or 2nd home) for a Christmas gathering, but only in the local authority area in which you or a member of your bubble lives. As we need to prevent the risk of spreading the virus, a Christmas gathering is not allowed in an area outside the local authority area in which one of the participants lives.
Operators should check that at least one household participating is from within the local authority area. Use this postcode tool to check the local authority area for a postcode.
A maximum of 8 people from up to 3 households which have formed a bubble can stay in self-catering accommodation over the period 23 to 27 December.
Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people in the bubble. If you are staying with another household you should not have more than one household (or extended household) staying in each bedroom.
Can my bubble stay in tourist accommodation, such as hotels or B&Bs?
The bubble should not meet or stay in hotel or B&B accommodation during the Christmas period. However, individual members or an individual household which is part of a bubble may use hotel or B & B accommodation nearby.
If I have formed a bubble can we go to hospitality?
Those who have formed a bubble should only socialise in a hospitality, leisure or entertainment venue in your own household (or extended household) for the duration of the festive period.
Socialising and opening hours for pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes are as per the local authority protection levels that the venue is situated in.
Visiting Scotland from other parts of the UK and Ireland
Under current Scottish regulations, unless you have a reasonable excuse, you must not travel between Scotland and England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland. Find out more from Scottish Government travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Travelling for a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.
Visiting Scotland from other parts of the UK during the Christmas period
As agreed by all 4 UK governments travel between Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland is permitted to allow families and friends to gather to form a Christmas bubble between 23 to 27 December (22 to 28 December for Northern Ireland).
The location of a Christmas bubble in Scotland must be in the local authority area which a member of the bubble has their main residence.
- A bubble can meet in self-catered accommodation for a Christmas gathering, but only in the local authority area in which you or a member of your bubble lives. Operators should check that at least one household participating is from within the postcode area.
- The bubble should not meet or stay in hotel or B&B accommodation together during the Christmas period. However, individual members or an individual household which is part of a bubble may use hotel or B & B accommodation nearby.
Find other COVID-19 related information at our dedicated COVID-19 business information page