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Has the proposed UK travel ban been dropped? Have a read at the law.

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Here’s a quick one for the lawyers amongst our readers.

This (PDF) is the full text of the new lockdown legislation which has just been published.

Having read this, admittedly not slowly over a number of hours, I cannot see any mention of a ban on leaving the United Kingdom.

Coronavirus

There are other restrictions which could arguably cover this – eg the list of reasons why you can leave your home does not include ‘go on holiday’ – but there is not a specific ban on travel. Perhaps there was a view that this would breach human rights legislation?

You can leave your home for work, so presumably driving to the airport and getting on an aircraft is OK. The Government, to be fair, has always said that this would be acceptable.

So … you would be committing an offence by leaving your home for a purpose which was not work-related or for any other reason on the list. However, travelling abroad is not, in itself, an offence. British Airways will not be committing an offence by having you on the aircraft and cannot be fined for doing so. There is also no requirement for you to prove to the airline that you are travelling for work.

Bizarrely, as the legislation is written, it seems that a homeless person can travel abroad for any reason. 2.5.3 makes it clear that a homeless person is committing no offence by not being in a home, and there are no restrictions on travelling to the airport or flying somewhere!

You are also allowed to leave home to view a residential property. This property could be outside the UK presumably.

Have a read for yourself and see what you think.

PS. The regulations also clarify that hotels can continue to do room service even though restaurants and bars are closed. Hotels can remain open and, looking online, many – at least in London – will.

PPS. 4.15.5 seems to imply that airport lounges can remain open and serve food and drink.

Comments (278)

  • @mkcol says:

    Due to fly LHR-TFS on 13 November with BA, however when I try to upgrade from economy to Club in the app it now says nothing available. When looking for a new seat for cash there’s no availability, this was after the aircraft being changed from an A320 to A321 a week ago.

    I suspect this flight has been pulled.

    • Belpat says:

      Last non stop flight to TFS is Monday after that all flights go over Madrid an into Tenerife North instead of TFS.

  • Belpat says:

    There must be flights going out otherwise people abroad can’t return

    • Rob says:

      It’s cheaper for BA to reroute on other carriers than fly down empty and bring 10 people back.

      The snag is that the reroutes will involve changing aircraft in other countries and will trigger quarantine for people who thought they were avoiding it.

      • Tracey says:

        Exactly why we didn’t move our Seychelles trip forward by a few days. The idea of being stuck out there would have been great if someone else was footing the bill, but if BA cancelled flights and routed is via Dubai (seems the only other option) that would mean isolation on return as well as sourcing another covid test in the Seychelles. Add to that the hassle of finding somewhere in the UK that would do a 48 turnaround on a covid test at short notice pre-lockdown and we decided to forego the trip. Just waiting to see if BA actually cancel either flight for a refund before we have to accept yet another voucher.

  • Gavin says:

    There is a general prohibition on leaving home without a “reasonable excuse” under 5(1). However, 5(2)(a) says that 6 sets out examples of what constitutes a “reasonable excuse”. 6(g) lists various matters to do with properties, including under (ii), viewing properties with a view to buying, or renting them. There is no requirement that these properties be located in the UK and therefore you can travel abroad for this purpose.