With the press having agendas every which way, it's hard for a Yank to tell what's going on over there. My wife and I are considering a 3 week visit that we originally had planned for 2020. If we get there will restaurants, B&Bs, tourist destinations, etc. even be open? How many places have gone out of business?
when are you considering coming?
Where in the UK?
Our original plan in 2020 called for 4 nights in Bath/Cotswolds, flying up to Inverness (as a home base for the Scottish highlands) for 2 nights, then a drive down to Edinburgh for 3 nights, and driving further to York for 3 nights and then taking the train down to London for 4 nights. We might end up adding a night in Inverness and Edinburgh and London, bringing us to almost 3 weeks and we're also considering flying into Inverness and starting there (with the train trip being from York to Bath then followed by London).
We aren’t post Covid - we are still experiencing 35,000-40,000 cases a day because most restrictions have been lifted and people aren’t wearing masks even where they should be - such as on trains and public transport.
No idea how many places have gone out of business. Most are still operating but several national retail chains have closed.
Tourist spots here have been busy with people taking staycations. Prices have rocketed. Everything is open.
It’s too early to say what or if any restrictions will be in place next year. Some museums and attractions require prebooking and timed entry slots. Flights have reduced significantly as there is little business travel - Zoom and Teams have replaced face to face meetings.
Two nights somewhere is only one day - I would add another night to Inverness. Same for Edinburgh, York and London if you have the time. Parking in Edinburgh is costly so you may want to drop the car on arrival there and take the train to York. If you drive, you could experience the fantastic Northumberland coast and visit Holy Island if the tide permits.
York to Bath by train is via Bristol or London (you will need to cross London and change lines) and will take around 6 hours door to door.
Yes, all restrictions have officially been lifted. Masks are officially required on public transport but many people aren't bothering to wear them - it's better in Scotland. Some attractions that didn't previously require pre-booking are still doing so, but you don't need to do it very far in advance. My only warning is that because of the laxness infection rates are high - don't come if you haven't been vaccinated.
I'm currently in Manchester. I was last here just prior to the pandemic. Except for masks, it seems the same. Everything is open.
The Christmas markets started this weekend and central Manchester was packed today.
From here, I'm headed up to Scotland.
The rules on mask wearing and social distancing in Scotland are still largely in place and adherence to the rules (e.g. masks inside public places such as shops, restaurants and museums and on public transport) is very high. I had a week in Edinburgh recently and everything tourist related was open, although some places required pre booking (e.g. Edinburgh castle). I live on Skye and I am not aware of anyone going out of business due to COVID. Mask wearing here is close to 100%.
The only thing I’ll add is, if you plan to visit some of the more popular attractions, check to see if you need to purchase tickets in advance. For example, one used to be able to just show up at Windsor Castle. Now, it is timed entry.