Can I stay overnight with family and friends – what are the current rules?

smiling women on a sofa
Many are wondering when they will be allowed to see loved ones again (Picture: Getty)


As the country slowly eases out of lockdown, many questions still remain unanswered.

Like, when will holidays be allowed in the UK? And what does the future look like for hairdressers?

And as the UK starts to resume fights, with Brits now allowed to stay in Spain without quarantining, many are asking – when can they see their friends and family on UK soil?

Here’s what the current guidelines state.

In England, as the rules stand, you’re only allowed to stay with family – and vice versa – if you live alone, and have chosen one another’s home as your your ‘support bubble.’

But there could be good news ahead for the millions of families currently separated, as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said during Friday’s press briefing that the Government are reviewing the current rules.

‘I want people to be able also to have a holiday if at all possible this summer,’ he said.

‘The rules currently prevent people from staying elsewhere overnight, unless they have an exceptional circumstance.

‘So, that we’re looking at, and we’ll work on it and I’ll make sure that you know about the outcome of that just as soon as we possibly can.’

Many families across the country have been separated since March (Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty)


Under new rules brought in this month, anyone who lives alone or anyone who is a single parent with children under 18 is now allowed to visit one other household and spend time in their home without having to comply to the two-metre social distancing rule indoors.

Those people are also allowed to stay overnight – so, for example, a person who lives alone who chooses their parents’ home as their support bubble can indeed stay overnight if they want do.

The same applies to people who live alone who may want to spend the night at friends’ houses, while couples who do not live together can also stay together overnight, provided one of them lives alone and can visit their partner’s house as their support bubble.

Overnight stays are not permitted in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Announcing the update on 10 June Boris Johnson said: ‘From this weekend we will allow single adult households – that’s adults living alone or single parents with children under 18 – to form a support bubble with one other household.

‘All those inner support bubbles will be able to act as though they are the same household, meaning they can stay inside each others homes and do not need to stay two metres apart.’

People who live alone are only allowed to choose one household with which to form their support bubble – visiting several different households in this manner is not allowed – but they can still meet with other people in a group of up to six, provided this is outdoors.

Two people wearing masks meet on a bench
Social distancing measures are still in place under most circumstances (Picture: Getty Images)


The most recent advice states that ‘no person may, without reasonable excuse, stay overnight at any place other than the place where they are living.’

The list of what would constitute a reasonable excuse includes:

  • Staying at a family or friend’s house to attend a funeral
  • If you are an elite athlete, a coach of an elite athlete, or a parent of the elite athlete, and need to stay elsewhere for the purposes of training or competition
  • If you need somewhere to stay while moving house
  • You need to care for a vulnerable person or provide emergency assistance
  • For work or volunteering
  • If it’s necessary to do so for a legal reason
  • If a child of separated parents splits their time between households
  • If it is unsafe or unlawful to return home

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