A Staycation Under New Guidelines

Can travel behaviours change?

Stephen Dawson


Grey but not bleak

Under grey skies in Cornwall sits the small village of Boscastle. A tranquil stream winds alongside national trust shops and cafes. The village leads out to an ancient harbour and scenic trails along magnificent cliff sides. A family has arrived early to beat the crowds. This might be a typical scene in staycation Britain — until you overhear a fuss. “Where are the face masks, Paul?

After months at home, some travellers are eager to set out for the UKs finest beaches and AONBs. A YouGov poll suggests that only 37% of Britons intend to holiday this year. Of those that do, the majority will holiday in the UK — far more than a pre-covid study suggests.

A shorter domestic journey may look appealing alongside inconsistent foreign office advice and doubts over plane travel. Stories of locals too frightened to shop in their own towns for fears of overcrowding confirm that many are descending on scenic parts of the country.

For some, the burden of stifling face coverings and restaurant contact registers may be enough to overweigh the draw of sea air and quaint villages. On their own, the guidelines may not be too much to ask. Collectively, they form a complex checklist on top of other travel precautions. As with anything that should be simple, it does come with complexities.

How we’re fairing under COVID-19 guidelines

The most British behaviour imaginable applies to the situation. As long as you hastily utter “sorry” in violation of a rule, it’s all going to be okay.

If one were to review how well the British public is adhering to the new guidelines — there may be room for improvement.

The 1+ meter rule creates awkward encounters in small corridors and on small paths. Knowingly breaking the rules requires a brisk “sorry” and a feeble rush of the limbs to gloss over the risky encounter.

Contradictions are clear. There will be patience granted on staircases for others to pass. On equally narrow pavements — the situation does not apply. A notice to keep a limit of 2 people at one time in a public…