UK outbound travel to be suspended under new lockdown rules
People in England are being advised to avoid all non-essential travel as the county prepares for a new Covid-19 lockdown.
In effect, foreign holidays and overnight stays anywhere in the UK are to be banned from November 5th until December 2nd.
Announcing the plans, the government said, “there is no exemption for staying away from home on holiday - this includes staying in a second home”.
However, travel is permitted for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions, the government advised.
The rules only apply from 00.01 on Thursday.
Although airlines are operating normal flight schedules before lockdown is imposed, they are likely to be heavily reduced in November.
People who live in England who are already abroad are not obliged to travel home before lockdown.
“Those currently on a domestic holiday will be allowed to finish their holidays, but are still subject to the requirements in England not to go out without a reasonable excuse,” guidance states.
Passengers arriving home from abroad before November 5th will be able to travel back as normal as flights are operating at regular capacity.
ABTA confirmed the latest measures would lead to the closure of the travel business next month.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “The announcement that holidays in the UK and abroad will not be allowed under lockdown in England will mean a complete shut down for travel businesses which have already been severely damaged by the pandemic - but public health must come first.
“We are pleased to see the government has recognised the significant impact the latest lockdown will have on businesses and has extended the furlough scheme until the start of December.
“The government must also make good progress with the global travel taskforce, ensuring a testing regime is ready to go as soon as lockdown is lifted.
“We will be seeking further clarification from government on the full implications of these latest measures for the travel industry, as well as assessing the support measures available for the sector.
“Anyone due to travel imminently on a package holiday should speak to their travel company to discuss their options.”