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On Saturday, the Government announced a range of new national restrictions in England to combat the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions will be voted on in the House of Commons on Wednesday (they will pass easily due to cross-party support) and are due to come into force on Thursday 5th November. It is currently anticipated that they will end on Wednesday 2nd December, but it would not be surprising to see that date extended further.
Can I still go on holiday?
The short answer is absolutely not.
The new travel restrictions are genuinely strict, as you can see below:
“You should avoid travelling in or out of your local area, and you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make. However you can and should still travel for a number of reasons, including:
- travelling to work where this cannot be done from home
- travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
- hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
- visiting venues that are open, including essential retail
- exercise, if you need to make a short journey to do so
If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.
Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed. This includes holidays abroad and in the UK. It also means you cannot stay in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes, but this means people cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.
Basically, unless you are travelling for work/education, you can’t go anywhere.
I’m already on holiday – do I need to come back early?
According to the Government guidance, no.
However, given that the majority of outbound flights from the UK will be cancelled, it wouldn’t make sense for airlines to run full inbound schedules during the lockdown period. Therefore, if you are due to come back after 5th November, prepare for (possibly significant) flight changes. If it is important that you are back by a specific time for work/family/etc, it would be sensible to look at your options for returning sooner than you had planned.
We (correctly) speculated a few weeks ago about whether overnight stays would be banned in some parts of the country. The new measures are considerably harsher, as they will apply nationwide (in England) and include outbound international travel too.