Greg DickinsonTue, 23 March 2021, 8:25 am
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Holidays will be banned until July, with anyone attempting to leave the country facing fines of up to £5,000 under new tightened border restrictions.
Under draft laws published yesterday, which will face a vote on Thursday, leaving the UK without a “reasonable excuse” (such as work, or education) will be illegal until June 30. Anyone who travels to a port or airport with the aim of leaving the country could face fines of up to £5,000.
Government ministers have grown increasingly pessimistic about whether international travel will resume on May 17, as cases rise across Europe. Speaking on BBC Breakfast yesterday, Helen Whately told people to “hold fire” on booking, as Boris Johnson said it was inevitable the third wave would “wash up on our shores”.
Officials have said the travel ban extension is for legislative convenience, and does not have any bearing on whether international travel will resume on May 17.
However, Matt Hancock told Sky News this morning that the third wave could derail our international travel hopes.
“We are seeing this third wave rise in some parts of Europe, and new variants, and it is very important we protect the progress we have made.
“It shows what an international challenge this is, and what we have to do is all work as much as we can together, but it also shows why we are being cautious on international travel.”