Can you travel from England to Scotland and Wales?
The Welsh and Scottish governments have implemented rules on travel between England and other UK nations.
The Scottish government does not permit people to travel between Scotland and England unless they have a “reasonable excuse”.
Reasonable excuses to travel to Scotland include for education or medical purposes, essential shopping or to travel to work, among others.
The lockdown guidance for Scotland states: “Under current Scottish law, given the state of the epidemic, unless you have a reasonable excuse (see exceptions) you must not travel between Scotland and England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.”
LONDON (Reuters) – Fines of 5,000 pounds ($6,900) will be introduced from next week for people from England who try to travel abroad without good reason under new COVID-19 laws which last until the end of June.
In the UK, foreign holidays are currently banned under “Stay at Home” legislation which will be replaced by the new COVID-19 laws next week. The government has said holidays could be allowed again from May 17 at the earliest.
But new warnings from the Prime Minister about a third wave of COVID-19 infections in Europe on Monday has placed the peak holiday season in jeopardy.
Sources told the Times newspaper that the legal ban on holidays until June 30 was for “legislative convenience” and does not pre-empt the government’s review on how and when to restart travel. That is due on Apr. 12.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by James Davey)
The Welsh Government will be announcing the results of its latest review on restrictions next week.
Wales Online reports, that First Minister Mark Drakeford offered some guidance on when and how he expects to ease rules in Wales.
He has said that changes will be minor and gradual but early reports suggest that restrictions on non-essential retail and close contact services such as hairdressers and tattoo artists may be making a come back.
The biggest lift in restrictions could be the end of the ban on all but essential travel with the current ‘stay at home’ rule changes to ‘stay local’.
However travel to and from Wales isn’t looking likely anytime soon.
The ‘stay local’ rule would only apply to those living in Wales and not from other areas of the UK.
Speaking on BBC Radio Wales on Sunday Mark Drakeford said : “We will be looking carefully at whether an intermediate period of stay local – people are used to that, we had a period of that last year in Wales – would be a first step on a journey.”
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Speaking at a Welsh Government press briefing on Friday, Health Minister Vaughan Gething said people shouldn’t travel from England into Wales.
He said: “We have said we may be able to lift stay at home. We are considering what that then means. We are thinking about whether there will be a stay local period or whether there should be travel permitted across the whole of Wales.
“That is a choice that the government needs to make and we haven’t concluded that.
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“But there are, I think, very easy to understand arguments about why we would want to have a period of ‘stay local’ before moving to wider travel and it is important to remember that at this point in time the restrictions in England mean that people shouldn’t be travelling from England into Wales.
“We know that the reality of essential travel for work is one thing but there shouldn’t be travel for leisure at this point in time.”
Passengers travelling internationally from Monday will need to carry a new form that sets out their trip is permitted under the stay-at-home restrictions, the government has announced.
The form must be downloaded, signed before travel and carried, or is downloaded onto a mobile phone.
Carriers will be checking the forms have been completed before boarding, either at check-in (online or at the check-in desk) or the departure gate.
Passengers who do not have a valid form may be denied access to their booked service.
Carriers will also be legally obliged to set out on their website that the form must be completed before travelling.
Police have been stepping up their presence at ports and airports in recent weeks to enforce ever evolving travel restrictions.
Officers will now be conducting spot checks and have the power to ask travellers to produce a completed form.
It will be an offence to fail to produce a completed form and individuals could face a £200 fine.
Stay-at-home rules are still in place, which means it is illegal to travel abroad without a permitted reason, such as for education or work, officials said.
The police will undertake spot checks at UK ports across the country to ensure passengers are complying with domestic lockdown rules.
Passengers who are identified by police as attempting to travel internationally for reasons that are not currently permitted will be asked to return home and risk receiving a fixed penalty notice for breaking stay-at-home rules.
These fines start at £200 and ladder up to a maximum of £6,400.
The Home Office announced an additional £60 million for police in February – including £2 million to cover the costs of extra activity by police at airports and ports – which brought the total amount of funding available to forces since the start of the pandemic to nearly £200 million.
Pub and travel bosses have demanded that the prime minister produce a detailed roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England, amid mounting friction between the government and business leaders.
Ahead of an update on the government’s plans, due on Monday, increasingly irate pub executives urged Boris Johnson to mend fences with the industry by offering clarity about the way forward.
Separately, in a letter to the prime minister, the travel industry warned “we cannot wait for the full rollout of the vaccination programme before people start to travel again”.
It comes after a group of pub chain chief executives withdrew from weekly talks with officials at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), citing a “lack of interest and respect”.
Several said said they were still in the dark about ministers’ plans since the breakdown of talks, instead hearing secondhand about proposals that have caused dismay, such as opening pubs without alcohol, or allowing outside service only.
Chris Jowsey, the boss of the 1,000-strong pub chain Admiral, said: “They release things in the press and if they get a bad reaction they change their mind.
“To my knowledge there’s no meaningful consultation going on at any level.”
Relations between the pub sector and government worsened further this week after industry figures took umbrage at Johnnson’s claim that hospitality poses a high risk of coronavirus infection.
As hospitality figures lamented a lack of government engagement, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, came in for criticism on social media over an interview with TV chief Gordon Ramsay.
Pub bosses pointed out that they had enjoyed no such dialogue.
“We’ve got 3.5 million people waiting to hear if their jobs are safe and we can’t tell them. That’s pretty shocking,” said Patrick Dardis, boss of the 300-strong pub chain Young’s.
He said ministers had a “Victorian perception” of pubs because they do not visit them apart from at elections and do not understand that modern venues can open safely.
Dermot King, the boss of pub chain Oakman Inns, said the lack of communication was symptomatic of the government’s approach throughout the pandemic, citing a list of policies that have angered bosses.
“The whole Scotch egg debacle was never discussed with the industry, the 10pm curfew was never discussed before it was introduced,” he said.
“Opening up but only with beer gardens was not discussed, or even the concept – which I have to believe was made up – of pubs reopening without selling alcohol.
“It indicates that somebody in government isn’t taking the problem seriously enough.”
A BEIS spokesperson said the department would “continue to engage relentlessly with the hospitality sector, as we have done throughout this pandemic, and our door remains firmly open”.
The travel industry swung behind calls for a gradual return to business as usual, in its own open letter to the prime minister, arguing it cannot wait for the full rollout of the vaccination programme before people start to travel again.
The industry, led by travel agents’ body Abta and including travel firms Tui, easyJet and Jet2, called for recognised vaccine certificates that would allow people to make journeys before everyone has been vaccinated.
They also want the Foreign Office to restore travel guidance based on regional Covid-19 data, so that people can travel to areas of other countries where infection rates are low without facing quarantine restrictions.
They also called for increased financial support for businesses facing restrictions, a call echoed by a third letter to the prime minister from the Events Industry Alliance, which represents exhibition and event firms.
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