Overseas holidays will be outlawed in England until July at the earliest in new legislation being drawn up by British lawmakers over fears that a surge in Coronavirus infections in Europe could spark a third wave back at home. Travellers trying to embark on non-essential travel could be slapped with £5,000 ($6,900) fines if they attempt to travel abroad for a non-permitted reason.
England plans to outline a plan to reopen international non-essential travel on April 12, while the ban on overseas holidays won’t be lifted until May 17 at the earliest. Parliament will, however, extend provisions for a travel ban until the end of June.
Travellers are currently allowed to leave England for essential reasons like for work or to attend a funeral or wedding. From next week, however, the list of permitted exemptions will be reduced and travellers will be required to show proof for their reason for travel.
Passengers who fail to present evidence that satisfies border guards that their travel is essential will be sent home with a fine of up to £5,000.
Visiting friends and family won’t be a permitted reason, while most weddings will also be removed from the exemption list.
Last week, Mike Tildesley, a prominent infectious diseases scientist who advises the government said it was “extremely unlikely” that most Brits would be allowed to go on an overseas holiday this year despite many countries laying out plans to welcome British holidaymakers whether they’ve been vaccinated or not.
France has just lifted a travel ban but is set to be hit with its own ban and will be added to England’s ‘Red List’ later this week according to reports.
Shares in airlines and holiday companies have tumbled on the news with the owner of British Airways being hit hardest by the suggestion that a second summer holiday season could be a washout.
A travel task force has suggested a ‘traffic light’ system to easing international travel restrictions, although no countries would make the green list with few or no restrictions until later this summer at the earliest.
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Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.