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Travel Advisory: UK Goes into Lockdown

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The UK will enter a second lockdown due to surging virus cases, starting on Thursday, November 5 until at least December 2, 2020.

The lockdown across England will include the closure of all non-essential businesses and services, with the exception of schools and essential shops, further limiting of personal networks and a general stay at home order. 

Travel bans that come into place on November 5 will affect the entire UK, as residents of England will not be able to travel for leisure throughout the nation, or abroad.

Boris Johnson conference live stream via Telegraph

After second-lockdown plans were prematurely leaked, Boris Johnson held a last-minute press conference on October 31st to update citizens of the UK on the latest measures the government is taking. (Specific lockdown details below.)

new united kingdom lockdown rules

Johnson had previously stated that he wants to “avoid the misery of another lockdown,”, however, it seems the pressure of the pandemic has overruled his initial hopes.

uk put into another lockdown in November

As Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, and Germany all clamp down with curfews, closures and new restrictions, it was only a matter of time before the UK followed suit. Surging cases and a significant rise in deaths have exploded across the country over the past few weeks, not to mention a fear that vacant hospital beds are quickly disappearing.

“No one wants to be imposing these kinds of measures anywhere.” said Boris “Unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at thousands a day”

rising cases UK

UK's rising cases. Credit: Worldometers

Lockdown Details

Here's what residents of the UK can expect of the lockdown order, set to begin on November 5:

  • Closure of all non-essential businesses and shops (including gym, retail, salons, cinemas and hospitality)
  • Closure of pubs, restaurants and bars, with the exception of takeaway and delivery
  • Only leaving the house for essential reasons, like: medical treatment, work, education, outdoor exercise, or to shop for essential supplies. 
  • Work from home is being strongly suggested 
  • Single adult households can only form a bubble with 1 other household
  • Avoid public transit if possible
UK lcokdown

What will stay open:

  • Schools, universities, and childcare facilities 
  • Essential shops like grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. 

Travel Restrictions

While PM Johnson didn't mention travel at all in his press conference, the UK.Gov site soon updated with intense new travel rules during the lockdown. 

  • Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed.
  • This includes holidays both abroad and in the UK.
  • If you own a second home, you are also not permitted to use it during the lockdown
  • Hotels will only be permitted for business stays. Leisure stays will be denied.

Travel for business purposes will still be permitted, both abroad and domestic. 

NHS covid UK

Since the start of the pandemic, the UK has seen over 1 million total cases, with over 46,000 deaths, giving them the 5th highest death toll in the world.

Tourist wearing face mask in front of Big ben in london (1)

The UK has generally remained ‘open’ for tourism during the pandemic, despite a 14-day quarantine required for almost all foreign nationals entering the country, which reportedly is very rarely enforced.

At this time there are no changes for entry requirements into the UK.

Travelers are still free to enter, with a 14-day quarantine, which has residents questioning why foreigners can come in if citizens cannot go out. 

Sources: Boris Johnson’s LIVE press conference Oct 31 /

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Saturday 7th of November 2020

Hi Kashlee, Is it possible for International Travelers to enter the U.K. to visit their family during the lockdown? Will the Borders allow that?

Kashlee Kucheran

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Like I've mentioned on the other comments here, I am not aware of any border control or entry requirement changes during the lockdown. Same rules are applying which include a 14-day quarantine

Adil Boutaleb

Friday 6th of November 2020

Hello I have a foreign passport and wanted to know if I am allowed t up leave the Uk?

Kashlee Kucheran

Saturday 7th of November 2020

Travellers currently in the Uk are permitted to leave during the lockdown, but not if they are going to take a leisure trip and then come right back in


Friday 6th of November 2020

Hi Kashlee, it looks like travel abroad is permitted for "reasons allowed by the law", but it's not clear how you are meant to prove that you have such valid reason(s). I searched everywhere and couldn't find such clarification, do you happen to know more? Also, according to this article, it doesn't seem clear how these checks will be enforced, so at which point would you be challenged, entering the airport? At your gate? (link) It's really frustrating, and I'm crossing my fingers you know more, you seem to be the only source of clear information :)

Kashlee Kucheran

Friday 6th of November 2020

Sorry, I really don't know the intricacies of when/how/why a person might be checked or not :( It's just too specific and varies too much for me to know.


Thursday 5th of November 2020

I have a plan to visit my fiance in England on 5th December, if the national lockdown would continue after 2nd December, would my fiance be allowed to pick me up to the Manchester Airport while he lives in West Yorkshire? Thank you.

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 5th of November 2020

I'm sorry I really don't know the intricate specifics for all the different scenarios. :(


Thursday 5th of November 2020

Hi there, I was planning to go the UK on the 29th November to purchase equipment for my business. Will I be permitted to enter the country during the lockdown?

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 5th of November 2020

From what I understand, no border rules or entry rules have been changed since the lockdown.