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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.

  • Yuff says:

    It was harder to get out of England than to get in to Mallorca in January, although by all account Mallorca are tightening up their border to mainland Spain by the looks of it.
    Negative PCR test is currently 150/100k but due to drop to 100/100k and they are pushing for 50/100k by the end of this month.

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Is anyone really surprised to see the Stanley Johnson clause hereby enshrined?

    • John says:

      As usual, the real insights are buried in the comments. This hadn’t even occurred to me.

  • Sam says:

    Interesting finding that not only me find guidance contradicts to the law. Just on that note on stay at home, I have been inundated by the estate agent trying to claim that the guidance allows viewings on the flat I’m living and therefore making some of the oddest suggestions including asking us to wait outside whilst letting strangers walk around my flat. The law says people can leave home to travel and view home, not that me as the tenant can leave home to let people in for the home viewings. I had to pull the regulation out to stop the estate agent nag me for letting people in for viewings in the middle of the lockdown.

    • Mike says:

      I had real problems trying to sell a flat as the estate agent couldn’t get the tenants to go out or wait outside whilst they showed prospective buyers around ………hey wait a minute where do you live Sam !!

      • kitten says:

        I suspect unless it’s in the lease there is no right to have a tenant allow viewings at all.

  • Dominic Barrington says:

    I am a British citizen who is domiciled abroad. Although I need to produce a COVID test result when I enter the country, I manifestly do have the right to enter the country, and as I do not live in red zone nation, I can enter England and go to an address of my choosing. That might be a house I own, the house of a relative, or a hotel, or whatever. As I’m a citizen of the UK, it seems to me I have that right, even if I am then subject to quarantine.

    But at the point I decide to return to my home outside the UK, this is simply not covered by anything on the form at all. The form is written as if the only people who would complete it are UK residents. And that simply may not be the case.

    • John says:

      The form has a free text box for your address so you can put your non UK address, and your reason for travel would be Other- going home

      • John says:

        The last time I looked into it my understanding was that the stay-at-home law only applies to residents of Tier 4 areas (currently all of England) so I think it has actually been legal for a British citizen, and perhaps anyone, living overseas to visit England for tourism and possibly even meet other tourists in groups of any size.

        Not so in March to June 2020 when the legislation applied to everyone

        • abc says:

          The ‘stay at home’ bit of the law applies to everyone who “lives in a Tier 4 Area” (ie all of England). The restrictions on gatherings apply to all gatherings “in a Tier 4 Area”, ie to everyone who physically is in England.
          So yes, in theory anyone can come into England, but there is not really anything they can do that people living in England can’t do. (Other than aimlessly travelling around? So maybe a holiday in a campervan could theoretically possible if you stretch the law.)

    • Peter says:

      I felt the same as a foreign citizen you should not be forbidden to leave UK and go back to home country (you cannot be a prisoner of UK). I’m wondering what is the case if you are a dual citizen. Are you still allowed to leave UK? Let’s say I decide I leave UK moving back to my other “home” country. I suppose UK cannot prevent that, no?

  • rowpott says:

    Not clear to me when you can fly domestically for leisure. March, April or May?

    • John says:

      Unless there is clarifying legislation, if you live in England, 29 March. Possibly 8 March if the purpose of your trip is to meet one person outdoors for socialising.

      • abc says:

        And already now if the purpose of your travel is doing exercise.

  • Track says:

    Declaration form is strange initiative though — with the lockdown law end of March — and travel gradually allowed from April.

    I can only see the form as another gimmick to prevent people from taking trips.

    • John says:

      The way to prevent people from travelling is to ask other countries to impose requirements on UK travellers – like Canada asked the UK not to exempt Canada-originating travellers from home quarantine even when Canada’s case numbers were lower than some EUropean countries on the green list

  • Robert de Mornay Davies says:

    Anyone know when you will no longer have to quarantine travelling from England to Northern Ireland for work?

  • Matarredonda says:

    Governments are loving being able to control the population.

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

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