The Health Protection Regulations 2021 were granted the power to tighten travel bans to discourage all Brits from leaving the country unnecessarily.
A valid reason needed to travel
As of next week, traveling outside the UK without valid reason will warrant a £5,000 fine to be given out. The fine will also be imposed for as little as even being at an embarkation point without a reasonable excuse.
Reasons that will be taken into consideration to justify having to leave the country are as follow: traveling for work, volunteering, studying, legal obligations, medical reasons, to give assistance to vulnerable people, elite sports, attending a funeral, or to attend the wedding or civil partnership of a close family member. Meaning that all reasons pertaining to leisurely activities will not be exempt from the new travel restrictions.
Travel ban until at least 17 May
Those who are allowed to leave the country will have to provide a travel declaration form. Failure to do so will be conducive to a £200 fine. Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, explained the decision to go forward with stricter travel bans by saying that:
I entirely understand people's yearning to get away and have a summer holiday, and we're looking at that question right now as part of the global travel task force, which will report in the middle of next month.
The earliest that will take any steps will be May 17 but, obviously, we're taking a cautious approach because we want any openings that we make to be irreversible. We'll only make steps that we think are safe but, on the other hand, we do understand, of course I understand, how people want to be able to get away in the summer, especially after the last year that we've all had.