Traveling Brits to be required to carry form indicating travel is essential or face $276 fine

Mar 5, 2021

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The U.K. will soon require all passengers to fill out a declaration that their outbound travel is essential. And if they don’t do so, they may be fined as much as £200 (about $276).

As of Monday, Britons who are looking to travel abroad must have with them a travel declaration form, indicating that they’re traveling for essential reasons. The form must be downloaded, completed and signed prior to travel, and the traveler must also carry the completed document with them.

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According to the Department for Transport, travel providers will be expected to check travelers’ documents before boarding — either at check-in or at the departure gate.

“Passengers who do not have a valid form may be denied access to their booked service,” the Department for Transport said. “Carriers will also be legally obliged to set out on their website that the form must be completed before traveling.”

The government said police officers will be conducting spot checks. If a traveler fails to provide their completed form, they could be fined £200 and up to £6,400 (about $8,841) for breaking the stay-at-home rule.

Home Secretary Priti Patel first announced in January that all travelers departing the U.K. will be required to fill out a declaration, enforced by the travel provider. However, Friday’s announcement means that the government can fine travellers for not doing so.

The U.K. has been under strict lockdown since Jan. 5. As such, all non-essential travel has been deemed illegal — regardless of whether it’s international or domestic travel.

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled England’s roadmap out of lockdown. In it, Johnson detailed that domestic staycations could return from April 12 at the earliest when holiday lets will be permitted to reopen.

Related: Boris Johnson outlines the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown

International travel, as well as hotels and hostels within England, may be permitted to reopen on May 17 at the earliest. A new iteration of the Global Travel Taskforce first met this week to determine how international travel may return and in what capacity. The group will reveal their plans to the prime minister by April 12.

The U.K. already requires that arriving passengers fill out a passenger locator form and have a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure. Additionally, all travelers are required to quarantine for 10 days — some in a government-supervised hotel — and take a COVID-19 test on days two and eight of quarantine.

Featured photo by Joseph Okpako/Getty Images.

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