A new ban on leaving the UK without a “reasonable excuse” is to take effect next week in England as part of new coronavirus laws.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021, published today, are part B of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
Regulation 8 of the new legislation “imposes restrictions on leaving the United Kingdom without a reasonable excuse” and suggests anyone who breaks them could face a £5,000 fine.
The rules come into force on 29th March 2021 and are scheduled for review in 35 days, taking the travel ban through until at least 3rd May.
Government guidance released today outlines reasons that would be permissible for international travel, including work purposes, to vote, study, participate in elite sport, or to fulfil a legal obligation overseas, to move, sell or rent property, for some childcare reasons or to be present at a birth, to visit a dying relative or close friend, to attend a funeral, for those getting married or to attend the wedding of a close relative, for medical appointments or to escape risk of harm.
The current ‘stay at home’ rule will also change on 29th March. People will no longer need to have a reasonable excuse to leave their home and under the relaxed lockdown provisions, the rule of six will be reinstated. This means up to six people from six different households, or an unlimited number of people from just two households, will be allowed to meet outdoors.
Another change the legislation sets out is to allow protests to once again be permitted under certain circumstances.