Yesterday the prime minister announced England would go into its third national lockdown – starting from today! Its set to last for at least six weeks – but likely to continue into March.
People have been told to work from home, non-essential shops closed and school and summer exams cancelled.
But what about travel? International and national for work and leisure. We find out what the Covid (and Brexit) rules are around a much-needed beach holiday.
Take a deeper look into four different headlines about future restrictions and how the media is reporting on the uncertainty.
uk coronavirus travel restrictions
UK travel ban
The Sun says holidays are banned for the whole of England until mid-February under a tough new coronavirus lockdown.
Boris Johnson’s announcement on a new lockdown yesterday was a bid to curb a rise in infections that is threatening to overwhelm the NHS.
The new restrictions include a ban on all international holidays for everyone in England, with only essential travel allowed.
You can only travel overseas for work.
UK residents who are abroad do not need to return immediately but are advised to check with their airline or travel operator about arrangements for returning home.
Overnight stays within the UK are also banned – in hotels, second homes and caravans – if it’s not your primary residence, as well as anyone you don’t live with.
People are being told to stay in their local area and not travel long distances across the country – not leaving their home unless they have a reasonable excuse including
- shopping for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- going to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercising with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should not travel outside your local area.
- meeting your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seeking medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attending education or childcare – for those eligible
- for animal welfare reasons
- for communal worship and life events like weddings and funerals
uk travel restrictions
US airlines urge Trump to lift travel ban on passengers from Europe and UK and instead enforce mandatory tests before departure – despite Britain plunging into THIRD lockdown
The Daily Mail says a group representing major US airlines have urged the Trump administration to lift travel bans on passengers flying in from Brazil, Europe and the UK as the air travel industry continues to strain under the weight of the on-going pandemic.
The letter addressed to Mike Pence, called on the Trump administration to ‘move ahead with recommendations to rescind current entry restrictions on travellers from Europe, the United Kingdom and Brazil as soon as possible.’
The group said the entry restrictions should be ‘removed concurrently with the testing program, which will provide yet another layer of safety in the travel journey’.
The emergence of the letter came on the same day that Boris Johnson announced a new nationwide lockdown in the UK until mid-February, as the nation grapples to control a ‘super’ mutant strain of the virus that’s causing cases to surge.
The Trump administration in March banned most non-US citizens that have been in Europe from visiting the United States.
Then in November, a Reuters report revealed that the White House was considering rescinding restrictions from the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Brazil.
uk travel advice
All but four EU countries banning UK arrivals
The Telegraph says only four EU countries are allowing in non-essential travellers from the UK, as Governments tighten border restrictions due to the new variant of Covid-19.
Of the four that will permit UK arrivals – Greece, Slovenia, Estonia and Lithuania – all are imposing a requirement to quarantine or arrival.
This means there is currently no viable holiday option on the Continent. With the whole of mainland Britain in lockdown, holidays are largely off the cards anyway. But the prospect of a rapid return for normal travel to Europe appears unlikely.
Brexit isn’t the key factor for the travel bans (many of these countries had restrictions on UK arrivals before January 1), but rather Britain’s spiralling Covid infection rate and concerns about the new variant of the virus.
Should new cases plummet in the coming weeks and months, it is likely that European countries – particularly those that rely on UK holidaymakers, such as Portugal and Malta – could revisit their policies to welcome British arrivals once again.
spain travel restrictions
British Airways denies boarding to UK residents of Spain at Heathrow
The Independent says on the first weekend since the Brexit transition phase ended, UK residents of Spain seeking to return to their homes have been wrongly turned away by British Airways staff at Heathrow as they prepared to fly home.
With the ending of the transition, British passport holders are no longer granted automatic access to the European Union. In addition, Spain – in common with many other EU countries – is imposing tough rules to try to minimise the spread of coronavirus.
Only Spanish nationals and legal residents of Spain are allowed to board flights from the UK until 19 January.
British people who live in Spain are required to carry one of two documents demonstrating their right to travel: either a green EU residence certificate or a TIE, a new biometric residency card specifically for Spain.
They must also have a PCR test for coronavirus within 72 hours of arrival in Spain.
But passengers booked on several British Airways flights say they were wrongly denied boarding at Heathrow’s Terminal 5.
One traveller, James Elliot, tweeted: “I was booked on BA482 flying to Barcelona, Spain today.
“I had all the correct documentation including UK passport, green resident’s card, negative Covid test and was turned away by the check-in manager. Tried explaining that the green card meant I’m a resident of Spain but was told by two BA staff that it wasn’t.
“Also read out both the UK and Spanish governments websites information with no success. Absolutely shocking seems like I’m not the only one either.”
What are the papers saying?
travel restrictions in the uk
Lockdown travel: What are the new rules for home and abroad during national lockdown? – The Independent
Live Travel latest news: Holidays banned until spring under lockdown 3 – The Telegraph
Lockdown travel rules – what does ‘stay in your local area’ mean? – Lincolnshire Live
BORDER FORCE International arrivals must test negative for Covid before entering UK under new lockdown rules – The Sun
Can I drive during lockdown in Scotland? The rules on travelling for work and to exercise under the latest Covid restrictions – The Scotsman
Skiers ignore Covid rules to flock ‘from Tier 3 and 4 areas of England’ to Cairngorm Mountain as crowds block access roads with cars despite resort in Scotland’s Tier 4 being closed to visitors – Daily Mail
COVID live news – Chancellor reveals £4.6bn of grants for businesses – Sky News
What England’s new national lockdown rules mean for you – The Telegraph
UK Covid live: Sunak suggests next stage of Covid support measures to be announced in March budget – The Guardian
LOCKDOWN 3 New Covid lockdown rules explained as Brits must stay at home after mutant strain surge – The Sun
Covid lockdown in England likely in place until March, Gove warns – The Guardian
Covid-19: UK lockdown, school closures and mental health tips – BBC News
England To Enter New National Lockdown Due To Alarming Covid Numbers, Film & TV Production Allowed To Continue – Deadline
new lockdown rules
Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across the country. Find out what you can and cannot do.
uk coronavirus travel restrictions
No travel is risk-free, and many countries have closed their borders to UK travellers due to the new variant of the virus. Those in a Tier 4 area in England, should not travel abroad. You can only travel internationally where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home.
When you arrive in the UK, it is very important that you stay in your declared accommodation for 14 days. It can take up to 14 days for you to develop coronavirus symptoms after you catch the virus and in this time you can unknowingly pass it on to others, even if you don’t have symptoms.
spain travel restrictions
The situation is evolving and restrictive measures to control the virus may be introduced across the country at short notice. The UK currently advises against travel to Spain however, should you choose to travel against this advice, you should consult the Spanish Ministry of Health map for further details of local outbreaks in Spain and check the advice of local authorities in your destination prior to travel.
People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
- Muscle or body aches.
- New loss of taste or smell.
- Sore throat.