Travelers wanting to leave England to go overseas now have to complete a travel declaration form to confirm that they are legally allowed to travel abroad. Failing to do so could result in them being fined.
Stay at home restrictions are in place in the country, and English residents are only allowed to travel abroad if they have a legally permitted reason. It is currently illegal to travel abroad for holidays, and this rule will remain in place when the stay at home requirement ends on 29 March. The date of 17 May has been set for the resumpton of vacation travel under the country’s roadmap for easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Those wishing to travel abroad now will need to complete a travel declaration form and print and sign a copy of the completed form or save it to a mobile phone or other device. Travelers may be asked to show the form at the port of departure, and are asked to carry evidence to support their reason for travel. They don’t need to complete the form for travel within the UK, to Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Some people are exempt from completing the declaration form because of the job they do, and their trip may be permitted under current restrictions, such as for education or work. Police officers will be conducting spot checks and may ask travelers to produce a completed form.
Permitted reasons for international travel include essential travel for business, work, volunteering or education purposes, where it is not reasonably possible to carry it out from home. Leaving for medical and compassionate grounds is also permitted under certain circumstances, as well as attending the wedding or funeral of a family member, or visiting a burial ground or remembrance, among other reasons.
Traveling without a completed form is now a criminal offence, and those attempting to travel abroad without a legally permitted reason may also be fined for breaching the stay at home requirements. It is also worth noting that different rules apply for international travel from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
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