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The Government’s ‘Travel Declaration Form’ is published

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The Government has released the ‘Travel Declaration Form’ which anyone leaving England from Monday 8th March must complete.

Where can you download the declaration of travel form?

Click here (PDF) and the UK Government’s ‘Travel Declaration Form’ will download A DOCX version is here.

Do I need to complete a declaration of travel to fly domestically?

No. It is not required for trips within the UK, to Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Declaration of travel form

Who needs to complete a ‘Travel Declaration Form’?

All travellers.

Children must have their own form but an adult is allowed to complete it for them.

Where do you hand in the form?

You don’t, oddly.

You need to fill in your declaration of travel but you do NOT hand it in at any point. You don’t even need to print it off – you can have it on your phone to show on request.

The Government website specifically states you will NOT have your form collected from you. Only the police may ask to see it – it does not seem to be required by airport staff.

Specifically, here is the legal requirement:

Entering a port of departure to travel internationally without a completed form is a criminal offence, for which you could be fined.

The logic is confusing – you cannot enter an airport or other departure terminal with the intention of travelling without completing the form, but only the police have powers to ask to see the form. The form is not collected and the data is not stored.

What is on the ‘Travel Declaration Form’?

Not much. Apart from your personal details, all it contains is the list of reasons why you can leave the country:

  • Work
  • Volunteering
  • Education
  • Medical or compassionate grounds
  • Weddings, funerals and related events
  • Other permitted reasons

….. and you tick a box. That’s it. You may be asked for supporting evidence to support your choice.

For people who thought that travelling abroad to look at a house to rent or buy was against the spirit of the original legislation, it is clearly stated here as acceptable.

Under the list of ‘Other permitted reasons’ it includes:

“to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property”

…. which is handy if you are fully vaccinated and planning to look at a property in Cyprus after 1st May.

What happens from 29th March?

From 29th March, the restrictions of leaving your home are due to be lifted.

At that point, the law is very clear – you can leave the country, because leaving the country was never banned in the first place. The only ban was on leaving home for a purpose other than a purpose on the list above.

However, the website says:

“Even once the stay at home requirement ends on 29 March 2021, it will remain unlawful to leave the UK unless you have a reasonable excuse, permitted by law.”

This is untrue, at the moment. The Government will have to pass additional legislation before 29th March if it is to stop you leaving the UK from that date. However, home or hotel-based quarantine will still be required when you return.

You can find out more about the declaration of travel, and download the travel declaration form as a PDF or DOCX form, on the Government website here.

Comments (41)

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

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Has anyone mentioned the 10 year prison sentence for filling in the wrong checkbox yet 🤣

    • EvilDoctorK says:

      Au contraire it’s only £200 in this instance … 10 years if you mislead on the way in ( of course not actually but that’s what the silly threat was !) but on the way out it’s only a £200 fixed penalty

      Dreadful law which hopefully wont’ last long

  • Ian says:

    Papers please..

    I don’t understand the obsession with preventing people from leaving the country. By all means control the people entering if they wish, but preventing people from leaving is abhorrent

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Ian I agree with you completely let anyone who wishes to leave the county leave.
      just don’t let them back “in” lol

    • Will says:

      I think it’s responsible to ensure as little travel as possible (what is actually essential?) occurs not only to protect our citizens from others but to protect others from us.

      So rather than being some sort of authoritarian population control, I would see it as a short term necessary inconvenience to help us get our freedom back at an earlier date.

      Also, if you let people out then no matter what you explain to them they’ll moan about not being allowed in, and the press will twist it and it will be a negative news story about abandoned families and outrageous costs for people.

      In this instance they have it right I would say. Shame it wasn’t applied a year ago.

    • kitten says:

      Maybe copycatting the Australians for whom some civil liberties – like leaving their country – and some consumer rights – like the right to a refund from an airline who cancelled your flight – apparently don’t exist.

  • Anna says:

    So if the government forgets to legally ban us from going abroad from March 29th (though I was under the impression that the current legislations lasts until March 31st), where can we go and not have to quarantine at either end?!

    • abc says:

      Nowhere as you’ll have to quarantine coming into England from everywhere (even Covid-free countries!). (The only exception is Ireland, though you’ll have to quarantine going in.)

      • Anna says:

        I’ve lost track of it all as not got any foreign travel booked till August! Is it red list – quarantine in hotel, otherwise quarantine at home, basically?

  • Rory says:

    So if I travel from Scotland abroad, via Heathrow, I guess I need to complete it?

    • abc says:

      It probably will only apply to people who live in England, as the ‘stay at home’ restrictions are different in different UK nations. (Though we’ll have to wait for the law to be published to find out.)

  • abc says:

    “From 29th March, the restrictions of leaving your home are due to be lifted. At that point, the law is very clear – you can leave the country, because leaving the country was never banned in the first place. The only ban was on leaving home for a purpose other than a purpose on the list above.”
    It’s not very clear at all what the law will be from 29 March, as no new SI has been published yet. The government states they a) will lift the ‘stay at home’ order at that time and b) that it still will be unlawful to go on holiday. So the law will be changed for that point in time. While it seems quite obvious what needs to be changed in the law to do a), it’s a bit unclear what the change will be to ensure b), but “nothing” is clearly not the only option.

  • John says:

    “Look we’re doing something” approach to politics (continued).

  • Andrew says:

    The BBC’s reporting of the Cyprus story uses the phrase that it’s “illegal to travel aboard until at least 17 May” throughout – seems strange that the government haven’t strengthened the law yet for this to be the case and yet the media are reporting it as so.

  • N says:

    The logic is no more odd or confusing than the French ‘Attestation de deplacement”, or Spanish ‘Certificat de autoresponsibilitdad’, that they have been requiring of travellers both inter- and intra-nationally for months. You don’t have to hand them it. They might be checked by police. Most often not.

    • The real John says:

      It prevents you from making something up if you happen to get stopped.

    • kitten says:

      the papers are checked on borders though even if being stopped is far less likely in-country.

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