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The HfP chat thread – Monday 22nd March

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (392)

    • Blair says:

      Shocking. Disgusting. Terrifying. Hard to believe in living memory of the Iron Curtain we have a law paased without debate making it illegal to leave England.

      • Anna says:

        You can leave England, just not the UK. Not clear what happens with the Channel Islands, etc.

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          Does this make going to Wales (self-contained accommodation) over Easter legal then? Doesn’t seem to be illegal on the English side…

          Is there some Welsh regulations prohibiting this?

          • Anna says:

            The BBC has it that from April 12th English people can have a self catering holiday in the UK, so that sounds as though holidaying over Easter will be banned full stop (for people living in England), but from April 12th you can go anywhere that can accept guests. Luckily for us, my son’s school has a late Easter holiday and doesn’t go back till the 19th. I don’t think the government realised that not all schools have the same term dates!

          • stevenhp1987 says:


            The legislation doesn’t suggest that though.

            It just says that hotels etc. must close in the UK. That you must not mix households etc. It also states we cannot leave the UK.

            It doesn’t say we cannot go to Wales, nor does it say we cannot stay in overnight self-contained accommodation in Wales before April 12th from what I can see.

            What BBC state isn’t actually law…

          • stevenhp1987 says:

            *hotels must close in England, not UK, obviously!

    • Anna says:

      Given that I haven’t left the north of England for 15 months, the prospect of travel to other parts of the UK feels pretty exhilarating right now.

      • Lord Doncaster says:

        Even a trip outside the county feels a thrill nowadays…seems my summer plans to Spain need to be postponed

    • Andrew says:

      This is why Boris has been talking today about the third wave on its way from the EU.

      • Anna says:

        This only applies from March 29th to April 12th, unless they’ve changed their minds about shops and hairdressers etc opening, which I can’t see could currently be justified unless things start going downhill again very fast.

        • Travel Strong says:

          The SI applies to the 30th of June.
          No other dates feature in the SI.

          The SI makes provision for movement from Step 1, to Step 2, to Step 3 – but dates are TBD on political whim.

          Step 1 and Step 2 still feature Closure of Holiday accommodation. Step 3 does not.

          The criminalization of foreign travel is in the SI under every step, so is currently effective til 30th June! An amendment to the SI would be required to bring that date forward… which to me seems unlikely they will do that given their current rhetoric.

          Those May/June easyjet flights look ripe for future cancellations!

        • meta says:

          Actually slightly different. There must be a review on 12th of April and every 35 days thereafter. However, the actual SI will expire on 30th June 2021. (see part 6, page 23)

        • Travel Strong says:

          It feels likely that the reviews will focus on step progression rather than dealing with the extensive seperate sections on foreign travel. I fear they will be left as is until the SI is withdrawn/expires.

          • meta says:

            The review will cover the whole of SI. That’s why it is in the first part of SI before Schedules.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            The task force will publish its recommendation on April 12th

            Shapps vs Hancock who will win!

    • Dom says:

      I’m interviewing for a job overseas in a few weeks – I want out of here. Time to p*ss or get off the pot as my Father used to say.

  • Matthew says:

    I’m confused about travel. Can I leave my ‘local’ area but remain in England to stay at a hotel? Can’t see anything regarding the guidelines mentioned by the government.

    • Sam G says:

      You can’t stay overnight in hotel until at least May 17th. Self contained self catering from April 12th

      • Matthew says:

        True – but where does it say that in the Statutory Instrument?

        • Travel Strong says:

          It does not give the date in the SI, but allows Holiday Accommodation In ‘Step 3’.

          The SI will be revised to places areas (most likely, the whole of England) in Step 3, at a date TBD. The ‘roadmap’ dates might hold up – but the SI will not reflect that until the decision is finalized.

      • Anna says:

        In England. If Scotland reopens as planned, you can travel there from April 26th and stay in a hotel.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Other than for business

    • Andrew says:

      But what is certain now is no international leisure travel until July.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It’s not at all. That won’t be clear until April 12th at the earliest.

        The SI review is every 5 weeks too

        • Travel Strong says:

          Agree is is not certain TG, but it doesn’t feel good – as the foreign travel restrictions are totally seperate from Step restrictions, and it will be very easy to leave them unaltered at each review.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            20.—(1) The Secretary of State must review the need for the restrictions imposed by these
            Regulations by 12th April 2021 and thereafter at least once every 35 days from that date.
            (2) In carrying out a review under paragraph (1) the Secretary of State must in particular consider whether each of the restrictions continues to be necessary for the purposes of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection in England with coronavirus.
            21.—(1) These Regulations expire at the end of 30th June 2021.
            (2) This regulation does not affect the validity of anything done pursuant to these Regulations before they expire.

  • Anna says:

    The bit that’s a (pleasant) surprise seems to be that 2 people can meet indoors. So presumably now we can all go and see our mum for a brew!

  • MKB says:

    Is there a D-Notice banning the BBC from covering C19 legislation? You’d think their legal and travel correspondents would be all over this, but not a peep.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Buried a story about the peaceful London lockdown protest on Saturday too

    • yorkieflyer says:

      I do hope that there is in time a proper debate about the use of Statutory Instruments to remove at the stroke of a pen our civil liberties without proper due process and primary legislation. Is the current sad state of affairs “taking back control” . If we’re charitable you could argue such emergency measures were justifiable without debate a year ago, but not now in my view.
      Will we ever get back what we thought were rights, but of course we are really subjects not citizens.

  • yorkieflyer says:

    Funny old world, provocative statements are pretty much ok but rebuttals aren’t?

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