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UK plans to fine Brits almost $7,000 for vacationing abroad this summer

March 23, 2021
4 min read
UK plans to fine Brits almost $7,000 for vacationing abroad this summer
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International vacations for Brits appear to be on hold until at least July. And, the government is threatening to hit anyone who tries to bypass those rules with a huge fine $6,800 (£5,000).

The draft laws, which were published on Monday March 22, will face a vote on Thursday March 25, according to the Telegraph. If approved, anyone looking to leave the U.K. before June 30 must have a “reasonable excuse” to do so — and holidaying isn’t considered a reasonable excuse. Anyone who travels to a port with the intention to travel internationally for a non-essential reason could be faced with that major fine.

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The law, if passed, would be in place until June 30.

However, that date is nothing more than legislative convenience. As Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled in his roadmap out of lockdown, the earliest date that international travel could resume was set to be May 17. And that date still remains a possibility.

Related: What does the roadmap out of lockdown mean for travel?

When the Global Travel Taskforce announces its findings on a return to travel by April 12 at the earliest, we will have a clearer picture if that May 17 date will hold.

If the Global Travel Taskforce does find that international travel can resume on May 17 — or at any other point before June 30 — then it will be allowed to do so.

Monday’s draft law does not have any bearing on whether or not international travel can return on May 17. If Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and the other members of the Global Travel Taskforce determine international travel can return, it will be permitted.

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While the date for the return to international travel is still largely up in the air, there are new fears of a third wave of the pandemic rising around Europe, which could derail travel plans.

“We are seeing this third wave rise in some parts of Europe, and new variants, and it is very important we protect the progress we have made,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Sky News. “It shows what an international challenge this is, and what we have to do is all work as much as we can together, but it also shows why we are being cautious on international travel.”

One of Johnson’s ministers said England may put “all our European neighbours” on the list of travel ban countries.

However, Hancock confirmed on BBC Radio 4 that there were no plans to do so.

Currently, the travel ban list is made up of 35 countries that are considered especially high risk for the likelihood of importing new variants of the virus. As such, the government has banned all travel to England from these red list countries with the exception of British or Irish nationals, or those with residency rights in England.

Those who are still permitted to travel to England from travel ban countries are required to undergo a 10-day mandatory quarantine in a government-approved hotel. The hotel quarantine costs $2,400 (£1,750) for a solo traveler and includes meals, security, transportation to and from the hotel and the accommodation itself.

Earlier this month, the government announced that all travelers looking to leave the country must have completed a travel declaration, stating that they’re traveling for essential reasons. Travelers who show up at a port without a copy of their declaration could face a $275 (£200) fine.

Featured image by Xigia sulphur beach in summer, elevated view. Zakynthos, Greek Islands, Greece
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023