When Lockdown 2.0 was introduced on 5 November, overseas travel without an essential reason was banned. However, with the lockdown restrictions being lifted on 2 December, to be replaced with a tiered system, are we allowed to go find some winter sunshine?
The requirement to stay at home will end on 2 December, and domestic and international travel will be permitted again, subject to the guidance in each tier. However, self-isolation and quarantine rules will still apply if you are returning from a COVID-19 hotspot unless you are willing to pay up to £120 for a test, reports BBC News.
Here’s what you need to know about travelling after lockdown.
Under the rules of the Lockdown 2.0, travelling outside your area either within England or overseas is banned except for essential reasons such as work or medical treatment. That will end on Wednesday 2 December, when local areas will be placed under tier one, two and three-level lockdowns.
The Government guidance says: ‘The stay at home requirement will end [on December 2], with domestic and international travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier.’
This means people in tiers one and two can travel outside their area for any reason, including holidays, but must only go to tier three locations for essential reasons.
For residents in the strictest tier three areas, the Government says: ‘Avoid travelling out of the area, other than where necessary such as for work, education, youth services, medical attention or because of caring responsibilities.’
However, while it is advised that people in tier three do not leave their area, the law will not prevent them from doing so.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said on Tuesday 24 November that tier three residents would be able to go abroad. Speaking on the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he said: “We are dissuading people travelling around generally from the very high tier areas.
“You can go abroad. But, of course, there is a penalty to pay for that in terms of having a potential quarantine period when you come back.”
He confirmed that from mid-December, quarantine from high-risk countries will be cut from 14 to five days if you take a Covid test and test negative.
Passengers who choose to take part in the Government’s ‘test and release scheme’ will have to book the test before travelling, and most private tests cost between £65 to £120.
The quarantine applies to ‘high-risk’ countries not on the UK’s travel corridor list, such as France and Spain. If your destination is on the travel corridor list, then you will not need to self-isolate at all when you return.
While mainland Spain remains firmly off the Government’s safe list, the UK has re-established travel corridors to the Canary Islands.
Nine countries were recently added to the corridor list, including Israel, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Nambia and Uganda. The islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius & Saba, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands were also added to the list.
Previous to that announcement, the Department for Transport (DFT) said travellers returning to the UK from Iceland, the UAE, Cambodia, Laos, Chile, Bahrain, Qatar and Turks and Caicos will no longer have to quarantine.
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