Crackdown on foreign holiday travel for minority who flout covid rules

A covid crackdown on foreign holidays has been declared by the UK government compelling anyone leaving the UK to declare they have a valid reason for travel or risk being fined or sent home from an airport.

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the new restrictions as she hit out at the minority of people who are continuing to go on holiday during lockdown.

She said there will be more police at ports and airports and people will have to declare their reasons for travel in advance to the airline they book with.

The move came as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged Scots not to book holidays and said that UK quarantine proposals for travellers to the UK were the “least” that can be done.

Patel did not give any detail on when the restriction will come into force, or give a full list of valid reasons.

But she told the Commons: “Going on holiday is not a valid reason, so we will introduce a new requirement so that people wishing to travel must first make a declaration as to why they need to travel.”

“This reason for travel will be checked by carriers prior to departure.”

“The rules are clear, people should be staying at home unless they have a valid reason to leave.”

Boris Johnson has announced that travellers returning to the UK from “red list” countries will be sent to quarantine hotels for ten days. The Prime Minister told the Commons that passengers will be “met at the airport and transported directly into quarantine”.

The list of destinations this will apply to includes all of South America, southern Africa and Portugal.

Kenya, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria could also be added.

Johnson also revealed that the UK’s ban on leisure travel will be enforced at airports and ports.

The PM also announced that the coronavirus lockdown in England will last until at least March 8 and possibly even longer, depending on the success of the vaccine rollout.

Sturgeon told her daily press briefing: “I think I do have a duty, at this point, to say that I am concerned the proposal does not go far enough. And I have made that point very strongly.”

She said the Scottish Government would initially “emulate” the UK Government’s steps, but also urged them to go “much further”.


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