Restrictions on travel
Scots await update on rule banning holidays abroad
Winter sun out of reach under new lockdown rules (pic: Terry Murden)
Holidays abroad will be banned again under tough new winter lockdown rules in England that will also severely restrict travel within the UK.
Travel firms, airlines and MPs have responded furiously to the UK government’s sudden ban on holidays from 5 November to 2 December, with a leading figure warning it will “crucify the travel industry”.
The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will assess their own situation and are expected to respond to the latest ruling.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office said English holidaymakers could not get around the rules by flying out from Scotland or Wales as travel within the UK is also banned, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions.
Downing Street’s latest edict will throw thousands of holiday plans into chaos and cause more misery for airlines and travel firms.
The new ruling comes just days after the Canaries, Maldives, Mykonos and Denmark were added to the safe list of destinations for Britons seeking a winter break.
Trade groups representing UK airlines and airports issued a joint statement condemning what they called “a 180-degree reversal of policy, since the government added these territories to the travel corridors list just last week.
Airlines and holiday companies reported a surge of bookings for Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote for November.
Henry Smith, the Tory chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation, called the travel ban “another serious blow to the already beleaguered aviation, travel and tourism industries, its employees and the communities who rely on them”.
EasyJet promised to operate its planned schedule until Thursday, but CEO Johan Lundgren said the government needed to support the industry during the month-long lockdown.
A spokesman for the FCDO said: “From Thursday there is no exemption for staying away from home on holiday.
EasyJet: called for more support
“This means people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions.
“Overnight stays away from primary residences will not be allowed, except for specific exceptions including for work.
“In terms of those Britons currently abroad inbound international travel will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach.
“Separately, those currently on a domestic holiday will be allowed to finish their holidays.”