Leaving England? You must now fill out a travel declaration form or face £200 fine

Mar 8, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.

As of today, Monday 8 March, England requires that all passengers fill out a declaration that their outbound travel is essential. And if you don’t do so, you may be fined £200.

Britons who are looking to travel abroad from England must have with them a travel declaration form, indicating that they’re travelling for essential reasons. The form must be downloaded, completed and signed prior to travel, and the traveller must also carry the completed document with them.

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According to the Department for Transport, travel providers will be expected to check travellers’ documents before boarding — either at check-in or at the departure gate.

“Passengers who do not have a valid form may be denied access to their booked service,” the Department for Transport said. “Carriers will also be legally obliged to set out on their website that the form must be completed before travelling.”

The government said police officers will be conducting spot checks. If a traveller fails to provide their completed form, they could be fined £200 and up to £6,400 for breaking the stay-at-home rule.

You don’t need to fill out the declaration if you’re travelling within the U.K., to Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Also note that this rule applies to England — different rules apply for travel from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Home Secretary Priti Patel first announced in January that all travellers departing the U.K. will be required to fill out a declaration, enforced by the travel provider. However, this latest measure means that the government can fine travellers for not doing so.

The U.K. has been under strict lockdown since 5 January. As such, all non-essential travel has been deemed illegal — regardless of whether it’s international or domestic travel.

Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled England’s roadmap out of lockdown. In it, Johnson detailed that domestic staycations could return from 12 April at the earliest when holiday lets will be permitted to reopen.

Related: Boris Johnson outlines the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown

International travel, as well as hotels and hostels within England, may be permitted to reopen on 17 May at the earliest. A new iteration of the Global Travel Taskforce first met last week to determine how international travel may return and in what capacity. The group will reveal their plans to the prime minister by 12 April.

The U.K. already requires that arriving passengers fill out a passenger locator form and have a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure. Additionally, all travellers are required to quarantine for 10 days — some in a government-supervised hotel — and take a COVID-19 test on days two and eight of quarantine.

Related: All 33 countries that are on the UK’s travel ban list

Featured photo by Joseph Okpako/Getty Images.

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