HOLIDAYS are banned for the whole of England as a result of a coronavirus lockdown, with no set date for travel opening up.
In addition, quarantine hotels are being set up for arrivals from 30 'red list' countries around the world where there are concerns about new Covid strains.
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The Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced that all travel both domestically and abroad is banned unless it is for essential reasons.
Anyone who needs to travel abroad must fill out a self declaration document, giving their reasons and it will be check by police, airline or border officials.
Those without a valid reason will be sent home and possibly fined.
In addition, all travellers arriving in the UK must present a negative Covid test result, obtained up to 72 hours beforehand, as well as a passenger locator form detailing where they will be staying.
The travel corridors have all been closed, so 10 days quarantine is mandatory for all arrivals, although those on the 'red list' of 30 countries will have to complete this in a quarantine hotel.
UK residents who are already abroad do not need to return immediately, but they are advised to check with their airline or travel operator about arrangements for returning home.
Overnight stays within the UK are also banned, whether that is in a hotel, second home or caravan, if that is 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, which includes:
- 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
The whole of England has been in lockdown since the beginning of January, as a result of a surge in Covid cases that has threatened to overwhelm the NHS.
Anyone who breaks the rules on travel could be hit with a £200 fine in the first instance. That doubles for further offences, up to a maximum of £6,400.
The rules will only apply to England – with Scotland and Wales applying their own regulations.
England's ban marks the third time in a year that the government has advised against international travel – after the Foreign Office urged Brits not to leave the country in March and again in November.
It comes as a severe blow to the beleaguered travel industry as the pandemic continues to ground flights across the world.
Package holidays are supposed to refund customers if you're unable to travel due to the lockdown, according to ABTA.
But some holiday firms have previously refused to refund customers where flights to destinations still go ahead.
More than 100,000 people have now died with Covid in the UK – as Boris Johnson marked a bleak day in the battle against the deadly virus with a national address earlier this week.
The Prime Minister spoke from Downing Street after the tragic milestone was reached.
He said: "I'm sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from Covid in the UK has surpassed 100,000.
"It's hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic – the years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended, and for so many relatives, the missed chance even to say goodbye.
"I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one."
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