1st December 2020

Christmas Travel Advice

From 2 December to 27 December the advice on travelling outside of your tier, including for overnight stays, will depend on your tier. Check the rules for your tier here.

Between 23 and 27 December, you may travel between tiers and other nations of the UK if necessary to meet with other households in your Christmas bubble or return home. Once at your destination, you should follow the rules in that tier.

You should not travel to see your bubble before 23 December, or travel back after the 27 December except in exceptional circumstances (for example, if a member of your Christmas bubble develops symptoms of COVID-19 and you are required to self-isolate). Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22 and 28 December.

Transport routes may be busier than normal. You should:

  • plan ahead, check for disruption before you leave, and avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times
  • avoid making unnecessary stops during your journey
  • avoid sharing a car with people not in your household or Christmas bubble
  • keep your distance from other people when you travel, where possible
  • wash or sanitise your hands regularly
  • wear a face covering on public transport in England unless you’re exempt
  • If you plan to travel to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you should read guidance from WalesScotland, or Northern Irelandbefore you travel.
  • You can stay in a hotel, including in tier 3, during the Christmas period as long as you’re staying by yourself or with other members of your household, or support bubble.
  • You can stay in private rented accommodation with members of your household, or your Christmas bubble.
  • If you need to travel with your Christmas bubble, wherever you are, you should follow Safer Travel guidance.

Travel abroad

From 2 December you may travel abroad, including to visit friends and family, subject to any restrictions in place at your destination. However, those in Tier 3 should avoid leaving their tier, including for international travel, other than for work, education or caring responsibilities. Before travelling you should check relevant travel advice.

Travel to the UK from abroad will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach. Individuals will need to self-isolate for 14 days if arriving from or have travelled through a non-travel corridor country or territory. From 15 December 2020, passengers arriving into England from countries not featured on the government’s travel corridor list will have the option to take a test after 5 days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing them from the need to isolate.You must not form a Christmas bubble if you have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.

Between 23 and 27 December, the rules on international travel will not change.

Paddington Station Christmas Travel Information


  • If you are travelling to or from Paddington Station on Christmas Eve, late afternoon and evening services will be amended to prepare for two day shut down of the station, which applies across most of the UK national rail network.
  • There will be no Great Western Railway train services on either Friday 25 or Saturday 26 December.
  • However, there will be Heathrow Express trains running between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport on Boxing Day.
  • Trains on New Year’s Eve and on New Years Day will be significantly amended to cater for anticipated demand.


Between Wednesday 23 December 2020 and Thursday 2 January 2020, planned work, closures and service changes may affect your journey.

  • The only transport running on Christmas Day will be taxis and private hire; Santander Cycles; and coaches
  • There are likely to be changes to timetables on all TfL services

Check before you travel and plan ahead using our travel tools. See:

  • The latest status updatesfor Tube, rail, DLR and Trams
  • Status updatesfor roads
  • Plan a journey, which can help you plan your route by public transport, cycling or walking
  • TfL Go– our live Tube map app for planning travel on the move
  • The TfL Travelboton Facebook Messenger
  • Our email updates
  • Nearbyplaces you on a map, showing Tube, bus, river, London Overground, DLR, TfL Rail and Santander Cycles locations, as well as local businesses and destinations. It can use your current location, a postcode or an address of your choice

Travel safely and have a wonderful Christmas.