Will I be able to go on holiday once lockdown is over?
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Since 5 November, we’ve been in a lockdown. The second one this year. Hopefully, this isn’t news to you.
As such, travel has largely remained off the table. Until the lockdown comes to an end as of 2 December, the government has banned all non-essential travel — that includes both domestic and international travel. In other words, unless you’re already abroad, you’re not allowed to head off on holiday until after lockdown ends.
That is, unless you’re travelling for a number of reasons that the government deems essential — including work, school, to take on caring responsibilities and more.
For those who are already abroad or who are returning to England, there are still the travel corridor restrictions in place. In other words, if you’re entering England from a destination that’s not currently on the travel corridor list, you’re required to quarantine for 14 days.
But while travel is largely off the table for now, where does that leave us for when we’re out of lockdown. As of 2 December, will we be able to head to Heathrow, hop on a plane and jet off to sun and sand? Let’s take a look at what needs to happen for holidays to resume.
First and foremost, the government needs to announce that the lockdown will not be extended beyond the current 2 December end date. At that time, England is expected to re-enter a tiered system, based on the risk level in each region of the country.
In previous iterations of the tier system in which three different tiers were featured, international travel was permitted. In other words, regardless if a region was in tier three — the highest-risk tier — residents were still permitted to travel internationally.
If the government does elect for another regional tier system, there are rumours that there could be an added fourth tier. It’s not yet clear what that fourth tier would restrict with regards to travel — it’s possible that it could restrict residents from travelling internationally or domestically.
If the government announces the end of lockdown and new restrictions that don’t include travel restrictions, it’s possible that holidays could commence. However, that’s still a big if at this time.
The tourism industry around the world — including right here, in the U.K. — is struggling. The coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the industry, bringing it to its knees.
The industry has long called on the government to provide it with a lifeline in the form of a testing alternative to quarantine. As in, travellers arriving in England should have an option to test out of a full 14 days of quarantine.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said last week that the government has made “good progress” in developing a programme that allows travellers to test out of a full quarantine. Under the Global Travel Taskforce’s plans, if a passenger arrives from a non-travel corridor country, they could see “a much reduced period of self isolation” in conjunction with a single test.
At this time, there’s no indication when the government will permit travel once again. Additionally, if the government does indeed permit travel, it’s unclear if it will be as of 2 December or if there will be a period of time between the end of lockdown and when travel is permitted. We will continue to watch this space.
Featured photo by Martin Harvey/Getty Images.
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