You could be fined £5,000 for going abroad under new Covid laws - the rules explained
A £5,000 fine for anyone trying to travel abroad on holiday from England is to come into place next week, as part of new Covid laws.
The UK is currently not permitted to travel abroad, apart from a small number of exceptions, but the ban is set to become a specific law in England from next week.
MPs will vote on the laws - which are officially titled as the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 - on Thursday (26 March), and if approved they will come into effect next Monday (29 March).
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‘The questions of whether people will be able to travel abroad this summer are going to be addressed by the Global Travel Taskforce’
In England, the earliest date that holidays may resume is 17 May, but the UK government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel, which will report on 12 April.
Like England, the earliest date people from Scotland and Wales may be able to go on holiday abroad is 17 May, but Northern Ireland has not yet announced its own plans.
Anyone currently travelling abroad has to fill in a ‘Declaration to Travel’ form, which states a valid reason for leaving the country, such as education, work or childcare.
Those leaving the UK can already be issued a £200 fixed penalty notice if they fail to fill in the form.
However, England's travel ban does not apply to those going to or from the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland - unless they are not the final destination.
Although the new travel law which could come into place next week is set to be in place until 30 June in England, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has suggested that foreign holidays could still be allowed before that date.
The Health Secretary told Sky News that the Government review of international travel will still remain at the proposed date, despite the new laws.
Mr Hancock said: "The questions of whether people will be able to travel abroad this summer are going to be addressed by the Global Travel Taskforce, which is reporting around 12 April.
"The roadmap sets out the earliest date by which we will allow for international travel - without one of the clear reasons you need now - is 17 May.
"That has not changed. The way we're putting that into law is as part of these roadmap regulations that will be voted on on Thursday.
"They come to an end as a whole at the end of June. But that doesn't change the timings for these questions on international travel."