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UK Government to ban international travel and domestic hotel stays ‘except for work’

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Whilst not mentioned in Boris Johnson’s televised press conference this evening, major media outlets have been briefed that the formal legislation to be presented to Parliament this week will include a ban on international travel.

No further details are known. Is this really a ban or just ‘advice’?

UK Government bans international travel

There will apparently be an exception ‘for work’ but there is no mention of how this will be policed. Clearly a family trying to board an aircraft will have more explaining to do that a solo traveller wearing a suit. It is also unclear if anyone currently visiting the UK for personal reasons will be allowed to leave.

There will also be a ban on UK hotel stays for personal reasons although work stays will be allowed. This could be troublesome for anyone who is not allowed to leave the UK but is also not allowed to stay in a hotel ….

The ban is likely to start on Thursday. The other measures announced today will run to at least Wednesday 2nd December, but this is only a guideline.

The restrictions will be removed on a regional basis after this date. This will lead to further complications as, post 2nd December, your legal right to leave the country for personal reasons will depend on your address.

We will know more later in the week when the legislation is published.

Comments (469)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Balla says:

    I have flight to Poland on 13 November but lockdown will star 5 November can still go ahead as ryanair didn’t cancel. Y flight

  • Nick says:

    I am a dual citizen (UK and US) and currently live in London. If I wanted to go back to the US (or anywhere else) for a week to work remotely, would that be legal? It wouldn’t be for a holiday but it also would not be technically a work trip.

    Assuming I will just have to wait for the full legislative text to be published

    • The real John says:

      Just go on Wednesday

      • Elena Ciriani says:

        I am currently in tenerife and I am coming in uk to work. i jave a flight to come to the uk on the 12. I would be able to enter?

    • guesswho2000 says:

      I’m a dual national yet not allowed to leave Australia, if the UK introduce similar restrictions you may need to apply for an exemption. Of course this is all speculation until the legislation is actually published.

    • Airfarer says:

      I have the same situation. I’ll be leaving on the 9th to Washington. Unless I’m arrested or UA deny me boarding, I’m traveling.

  • Sam says:

    We’re supposed to be moving to Barcelona on November 21st, is that legitimate?

    • Anna says:

      I can’t see any reason why not, it’s not travel for leisure purposes. I imagine your main issue would be whether your flight/ferry is still going!

      • Gyula Juhász says:

        I am supposed to be returning from Hungary to London on 12 November.Ryanair did not cancel my flight. Ryanair says nothing about possible flight cancellations after 5 November. Could I enter Britain by train or bus or as a foot passenger on a ferry

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I’m sure people will be able to return home even if leisure travel is “banned”

          If this ban is FCO advice against travel like it was during the first lockdown then it’s not a ban anyway.

        • bill says:

          i doubt ryanair will cancel flights

  • Max says:

    If airlines cancel European flights within the next week, will they be liable to pay out the EU 200+ Euro compensation? Presumably flights won’t be cancelled until mid-November, ie. with the 2 weeks notice required by the EU regulations?

    • Rob says:


    • Declan Yates says:

      They seem to all be using the “Extraordinary Circumstances” clause of EC261 to get out of any claims. The EC put out a statement basically allowing airlines to cite extraordinary circumstances pertaining to coronavirus for any changes at present. Thank god we’re finally leaving that basket case union very soon! The single biggest positive of 2020, and sadly there aren’t many others! This means more or less any scheduling change at short notice and passengers are simply shafted. I see both sides of the argument though, as clearly the last thing the already financially destroyed airlines want to worry about is paying out compensation for last-minute changes. But as far as I see it, EC261 will be a worthless piece of legislation for the foreseeable future.

      • Chris says:

        Yes because the government announcing via twitter and giving 4 days notice to the travel industry that they are going to ban all international travel is absolutely in no way “extraordinary”….

      • VINZ says:

        Yes sure, the best next thing to Corona is Brexit… can’t wait to say adieu to the flight compensation scheme once we’ll be able to fly again on our new, shiny blue passport made in France. PS: Boris is not a basket case at all!

        • bill says:

          eu 261/2004 applies to flights to or from the EU does it not ? so it’s internal within UK that will lose the scheme. unless i am very much mistaken

          • meta says:

            Nope as EU261 is transposed into UK law until MPs vote otherwise. It will continue to apply, but I can well see airlines telling customers it does not apply and majority thinking that is the truth.

      • Lady London says:

        not correct @Declan.
        No compo which is fair enough. However duty of care still applies and has been re- stated by EU Transport Commissioner still applies. This is what’s fortunately giving you your rerouting rights etc and this applies with any length of notice.

  • Brian says:

    Travel share prices are down a lot today. Until recently, I worked for a travel company and they’d built in an impact from further shutdowns in their 12 month forecasts. Surely investors would have done the same? Unless they’re idiots?

    • Char Char says:

      Businesses can build forecasts into unpredictable events but once something negative is confirmed then I’d expect a certain amount of adjustment to allocations

  • Ela says:

    Is an essential worker eg carer able to fly back home?

    • Rob says:

      You won’t find out until the legislation is published tomorrow.

    • Anna says:

      Back home to where? It’s only outbound travel from the UK that’s going to be affected.

  • WaynedP says:

    We live in a Parliamentary democracy, and there is still time to influence the detail by writing to your constituency Member of Parliament.

    My Provincial has asked all clergy to encourage parishioners to urgently email their MPs to request full disclosure of the data that purportedly supports the intention to cease public worship.

    Not to foment civil disobedience, but to earnestly encourage a transparent and informed public debate on the best estimate risk vs benefit assessment of public worship being allowed to continue.

    A respectful and balanced presentation to MPs of some of the queries, assessments and personal dilemmas aired on HfP regarding travel may yet succeed in avoiding some of the more draconian, sensationalist public claims from being enacted in the final legislation and accompanying statutory instruments.

    • Jamie says:

      Well, that brought a smile to my face if nothing else. Cheers Wayne.

    • Anna says:

      Why does anyone need to worship in public?

      • WaynedP says:

        Valid question.
        It’s hugely meaningful to many.
        I’m happy to expand further, away from this forum, if/when you would like, Anna.

    • Littlefish says:

      To be fair, there is plenty of data and information around the risks of large gatherings in indoor spaces that can lead to mass spreading of the virus; talking/singing and time length of gathering also work against worship.
      Right now, the answer to this (as it is for Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels, Workplaces, etc) is the blunt instrument of closing-off; probably, a next to last chance to pull down the spread levels below R0=1.
      Personally, I’d like to see much more of how to apply learning of the last 3 months to make each of those activities safer and less susceptible to being Virus friendly. But currently, better prevention/mitigation (of transmission risks) is poorly understood by europe’s senior politicians.
      Put another way, likely much more mileage in the worship ‘industry’ explaining what its doing to make worship places much much safer (and then doing it and securing data); than trying to argue special status.

  • Brian says:

    Instead of paying management consultant bluffers millions to support the failing test and trace system why not get South Korea to run it?

    Only 400ish deaths (50 million population) and their economy is now growing again, which isn’t the case for any country in Europe.

    World beating indeed

    • Anna says:

      From what I’ve read it’s quite an intrusive system which collects data from things like mobile phone records; it would have no chance here!

      • Brian says:

        It’s a good thing we’ve not had any intrusive policies in place in the U.K. over the last few months 🤣

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Track and trace is impossible with 40k cases a day. An effective T&T system had to be in place in July!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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