New coronavirus regulations covering the coming months will make foreign travel illegal – but there are a number of exceptions.
Anyone trying to leave the country without a reasonable excuse could face a £5,000 fine under the legislation, which will come into force on Monday if MPs vote to approve it later this week.
International travel was already prohibited in most circumstances under the current lockdown rules, but the punishment will be a new feature as the stay at home controls are replaced by stay in the UK restrictions from March 29.
They will ban non-essential foreign travel until June 30 unless you meet one of a number of exceptions listed below.
The Government has listed dozens of jobs as being exempt from the travel restrictions, including those in the aviation and aerospace industries, bus and coach drivers, hauliers and elite athletes.
Some of them require you to complete a declaration form for overseas travel setting out the reasons you are travelling abroad.
Anyone failing to complete the form is liable to a £200 fixed penalty notice.
Students will be exempt where they are enrolled on a university or other higher education course overseas ‘and it is reasonable necessary for them to leave the United Kingdom to attend that course’.
The exemption also applies where ‘it is reasonably necessary for them to travel outside the United Kingdom to satisfy one or more requirements of their course or study’.
Attend a wedding
International travel is also permitted to get married or attend the wedding of a close relative.
The legislation allows it when the traveller ‘is one of the persons getting married or becoming civil partners, or a close family member of one of the persons getting married or becoming civil partners’.
It is also allowed when ‘one or both of the persons getting married or becoming civil partners live outside’ the UK.
Visit close friend or relative who is dying and attend funerals
You may leave the country ‘to provide care and assistance to a vulnerable person’, ‘provide emergency assistance to any person’ and ‘visit a person you reasonably believe is dying’.
The rules also allow you to travel abroad for the purpose of attending a funeral.
Purchase, sale, letting or rental of residential property
Another of the exemptions allows travel to visit properties, estate agents, sales offices or show homes overseas if a person is seeking to buy or sell a foreign home.
The legislation also gives an exemption for ‘preparing a residential property to move in’ or ‘to visit a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property’.
To attend a birth, escape harm, get medical treatment or visit close friend or relative in hospital
The legislation allows for international travel ‘to seek medical assistance’, ‘to attend a clinical appointment’ or ‘to avoid illness, injury or to escape a risk of harm’.
It also permits you ‘to attend an expectant mother giving birth’ at the mother’s request.
You may also visit a close friend or relative being treated in hospital, staying at a care home or being looked after at a hospice.
Other travel exemptions include:
Legal obligations or to vote in an election/referendum
Non-residents or visiting UK on temporary basis
Carry out voluntary or charitable services that cannot be done from the UK