Travelling in private vehicles

Advice about how to travel safely in a private vehicle.

Guidance at all Alert Levels

Do not travel if you are unwell

Help limit the spread of any virus by staying at home if you are unwell.

If that's not possible, call Healthline for guidance first on 0800 358 5453.

Practise good hygiene habits

  • Wash your hands before and after travelling.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  • Where possible, use hand sanitiser before and after you enter or exit your vehicle.
  • When you get home, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water and dry them thoroughly.

Travelling in a private vehicle at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, you can travel but try to do it in a safe way.

  • If you're unwell, stay at home.
  • Keep track of who you have been in contact with.
  • Practise good hygiene habits.
  • Do not travel if you have been asked to self-isolate.

Get more advice on living at Alert Level 1, including keeping your distance, wearing face coverings and contact tracing for businesses

Travelling in a private vehicle at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, you can travel, but make sure you do it in a safe way. 

  • Do not travel to events that do not meet the requirements for gatherings at Alert Level 2.
  • If you're unwell, stay at home.
  • Keep track of who you have been in contact with.
  • Practise good hygiene habits.
  • Do not travel if you have been asked to self-isolate.

Get more advice on living at Alert Level 2, including keeping your distance, wearing face coverings and contact tracing for businesses

Travelling in a private vehicle at Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3, travel is restricted and only allowed for permitted movement in your local area, for example going to work or school if you need to, shopping or getting exercise.

You can travel in a private car only for the following reasons:

  • accessing local services and businesses
  • going to work or school, but only if you cannot stay at home
  • low-risk exercise in your local area
  • visiting people in your bubble
  • travelling to permitted gatherings.

Your local area means the area near your home that you regularly visit for essential services. What is considered local will differ depending on where you live. City dwellers may have a supermarket or dairy close by. If you live rurally, you may need to take a drive to reach these.

  • If you're unwell, stay at home.
  • We recommend you only travel in your car with people from your bubble.
  • Practise good hygiene habits.
  • Keep track of who you have been in contact with.
  • Do not travel across an Alert Level boundary, unless your travel is permitted or you have an exemption.
    Personal and business travel permissions for crossing an Alert Level boundary
  • Do not travel if you have been asked to self-isolate.

Remember, any unnecessary travel may spread COVID-19.

Get more advice on living at Alert Level 3, including keeping your distance, wearing face coverings and contact tracing for businesses

Regional travel at Alert Level 3

Travel between Alert Level areas is strictly limited.

Anyone wanting to travel into, through or out of an Alert Level 3 area needs to check whether they are permitted to do so.

You may go in or out of an Alert Level 3 area but only if that travel is permitted under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Alert Level Requirements) Order, or you have an exemption granted by the Director-General of Health under that Order.

If there is an Alert Level 3 boundary, we will publish information on this website about which travel is permitted.

Information about regional travel

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