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United Kingdom Outlines Plan to Resume International Travel

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The prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has laid out a roadmap for easing Covid-19 restrictions, including the ban on international travel.

He announced that international travel may resume May 17th, 2021, at the earliest, as he set out a four-stage plan for the easing of England's latest Covid-19 restrictions. 

Johnson is one of the first world leaders to lay out a framework for when travel can resume, allowing travelers to start planning trips and see the light at the end of the tunnel to ever-growing restrictions.

United Kingdom Outlines Plan to Resume International Travel

The UK has been in Lockdown Since Early January

In January, the United Kingdom went into a national lockdown, banning British nationals from leaving the country unless they have a legal reason to do so.

In addition, a stay-at-home order was enforced to all residents and foreign nationals in the UK, which means traveling within the UK for tourism, recreation, or vacation is not permitted. 

Woman staying home during coronavirus pandemic

Since then, the government has also banned arrivals from 16 countries over new stains and suspended the travel corridors so that all arrivals into the UK, regardless of where they are flying from, will need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test and self-isolate for 10 days upon arriving into the country.

Travel is currently only allowed for special circumstances, including business and for compassionate reasons, and the government has warned people that holidays are illegal.

Given these tight restrictions that make going on holiday near-impossible, travelers will be happy to know there is a plan to reduce them in the coming months.

people walking wearing masks in london

When Will Travel Restrictions in the United Kingdom Ease?

The government has laid out a four-stage road map that includes the easing of restrictions on international travel and domestic holidays.

There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions; followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased.

Step 1 will start on March 8, 2021, when schools can reopen, and as of March 29, 2021, two households will be able to meet outdoors.

Step 2 will take place at least five weeks after Step 1, no earlier than April 12, 2021. This includes the opening of non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality, gym and swimming pools, and self-catered holidays.

Family camping in a campervan outside

This means that domestic overnight stays and self-contained accommodation may be allowed as early as April 12th, 2021. This includes caravans and holiday lets, as long as it within your own household.

The government has stated that this could be postponed if the PM and his advisers say it is necessary.

Step 3 will take place at least five weeks after Step 2, no earlier than May 17, 2021. This includes the reopening of hotels and B&Bs in England, some large events, and international travel subject to review.

heathrow airport

The British government is launching a new global travel task force to facilitate the return to international travel while still managing the risk from imported cases and new variants.  The Global Travel Taskforce will report on April 12, 2021.

Following the report, the government will determine when international travel should resume. This will be no earlier than May 17th, 2021.

Johnson said this will “give people time to make their plans for the summer”.

sunset at Stonehenge in england

Johnson said that in order for the May 17th date to be confirmed, the vaccine rollout needs to continue at pace with evidence that vaccines are working and infection rates do not lead to an increase in hospitalizations.

The last step of the road map will take place at least five weeks after Step 3, no earlier than June 21, 2021. At this point, virtually all restrictions would be lifted including nightclubs and large events.

The British government also stated that they are looking at a system of allowing vaccinated individuals to travel more freely internationally. Many other countries have already stated that they will allow vaccinated tourists in without any entry requirements such as testing or quarantines.

Read More: 

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