A hefty fine of £5,000 is be imposed on holidaymakers or anyone departing from England without a good excuse before the end of June. This tightening of the country’s border controls is due to come into force as part of new coronavirus laws.
The road map out of lockdown states that no international travel is allowed until May 17 2021 yet his new measure means that travel may not be allowed for a further 5 weeks.
There will be a vote on Thursday and If approved, the new measure will become law on March 29.
The increased fine is a reflection of the increased risk of holidaying abroad due to another surge in Covid cases in continental Europe and the slow rollout of vaccines across Europe.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock explained that the restrictions on travelling abroad were necessary to guard against the importation of large numbers of cases and new variants, which might put the vaccine rollout at risk.
The government’s global travel task force is looking at creating a traffic light or tiered system for international travel to be put into place when the ban on leaving the country is lifted.
Interestingly, embedded in the new rules is the right to protest about the new legislation.
And confusingly, even though the new laws won’t expire until 30 June, Health Secretary Matt Hancock hinted that foreign holidays could be allowed before that date. The road map cites May 17 as the first possible date when travel without a good excuse – i.e. work or eduction – however, it will depend on the results of the government’s travel review of which are due to become available on April 12.
Hancock told Sky News:
“The questions of whether people will be able to travel abroad this summer are going to be addressed by the Global Travel Taskforce, which is reporting around 12 April.”