Can I travel abroad during lockdown?
What are the international rules on travel?
In England, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted due to the ongoing national lockdown that is due to last until at least 2 December.
Under the lockdown, you must stay at home, and must not travel in the UK or overseas.
There are only a few very specific reasons for which you may be permitted to travel, like education, work or a caring responsibility.
(Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
People in England will be fined £200 if they are caught trying to go on holiday, and heading on a trip away could see you handed a criminal record.
Repeat offenders could be hit with penalties rising to £6,400 – or a conviction if they challenge it in the courts.
Even before the latest lockdown was imposed on 5 November, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) was advising against all but essential travel to many countries and territories on the basis of Covid-19 risks.
When can I travel?
Under certain circumstances, you are still able to travel, and the Government even goes so far as to say you “should” still travel for a number of reasons.
– travelling to work where you cannot work from home
– travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
– to visit those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare
– hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
– to buy goods or services from premises that are open, including essential retail
– to spend time or exercise outdoors – this should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
– attending the care and exercise of a pet, or veterinary services
If you do need to travel, you should look to reduce the number of journeys if possible, and walk or cycle where possible. You should also plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
What if I need to travel abroad?
If you do need to travel abroad, it is advised that you research and make sure you understand the public health requirements of your destination country.
Some countries require mandatory isolation periods to be completed upon arrival, while others may ask that you register a negative Covid-19 test result in the hours before your arrival.
Each country is different; visiting the FCDO’s Foreign Travel Advice page is a good place to start.
There are also restrictions on re-entering the UK from certain countries being imposed, which means travellers returning from these regions will need to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.
The full list of countries from which you do NOT need to do this in England, can be found here.
Can I travel if I’m feeling unwell?
If you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, you must not travel.
This also applies if you are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Fines for breaching self-isolation rules start at £1,000, and can increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and the most serious breaches.
For more information on current lockdown restrictions, including on how they affect travel, head to the Government’s website