The four-week lockdown set to come into force in England from Thursday November 5 will include a ban on holidays being taken for leisure purposes.
Travel will however continue to be allowed for work purposes. This page on the gov.uk website confirms that:
“Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed – including holidays in the UK and abroad. This includes staying in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes.”
The page also confirms that hotels, hostels and other accommodation “should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law”.
The lockdown measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday December 2, after which the government said that it would “look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data”.
Several organisations have already commented on the news, including ABTA, Airlines UK and the Airport Operators Association.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA said:
“Today’s announcement that holidays in the UK and abroad will not be allowed under lockdown in England will mean a complete shut down for travel businesses which have already been severely damaged by the pandemic – but public health must come first.
“We’re pleased to see the Government has recognised the significant impact the latest lockdown will have on businesses and has extended the furlough scheme until the start of December. The Government must also make good progress with The Global Travel Taskforce, ensuring a testing regime is ready to go as soon as lockdown is lifted.
“We will be seeking further clarification from Government on the full implications of these latest measures for the travel industry, as well as assessing the support measures available for the sector.
“Anyone due to travel imminently on a package holiday should speak to their travel company to discuss their options.”
While Tim Alderslade, chief executive, Airlines UK and Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association said:
“This announcement is a 180-degree reversal of policy, since the Government added the Canaries to the travel corridors list just last week.
“Aviation has been devastated by the pandemic, and has essentially never had the opportunity to recover. A ban on international travel means airlines and airports, already hamstrung by quarantine, are closed businesses and will require financial support now – which other sectors like hospitality have received – alongside a comprehensive restart package.
“This needs to include immediate additional economic support for the winter and steps to support recovery, including urgent roll-out of a testing regime, business rates relief for airports, and an emergency waiver of Air Passenger Duty that will be essential for enabling and stimulating international travel – absolutely vital for the UK economy – for as long as we are living with this virus. Hundreds of thousands of jobs and our economic recovery are on the line.”