COVID-19 travel ban update: £5,000 fine for leaving England
As of next week, anyone in England who travels abroad without a good reason could face a £5,000 fine as part of new coronavirus laws.
The penalty is included in legislation that will be voted on by MPs on Thursday.
Holidays abroad are currently not allowed under the “stay at home” rule which will end on Monday.
From next week the ban on leaving the UK will become a specific law, backed up by the threat of the fine.
The earliest date for holidays abroad – under current guidelines – would be 17 May.
But the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in Europe, and their slow vaccine rollout, has cast doubts on the resumption of foreign travel.
Matt Hancock said restrictions on foreign holidays were necessary to protect the UK from a rise in cases and new variants which could risk the vaccine rollout.
Labour is supporting the measures to keep the UK’s borders secure and avoid the importation of new variants but says the government’s “slowness to react” has contributed to the country’s high death rate.
Boris Johnson has warned the UK should be “under no illusion” that it will feel the effects of the rising cases in Europe.
Travel ban: UK travel red list
The UK travel red list was introduced with the aim of stopping Covid-19 variants entering the country and is regularly reviewed, meaning countries are added or removed depending on their situation.
The government is considering a tiered or traffic light system for international travel when the ban on leaving the country is lifted.
The plan is to publish the framework on 12 April.
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