On Monday, UK prime minister, Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown in England as the more transmissible variant of COVID-19 brought a spike in infections across the country, which undoubtedly affects 2021 travel.
“It is clear that we need to do more to bring this new variant under control,” Johnson said. “That means the government is once again instructing you to stay at home.”
According to Johnson, there were 30% more Covid-19 patients in hospitals in England on Monday than a week earlier, which was more than enough to launch the UK back into crisis mode.
Additionally, the lockdown is predicted to remain effective until the middle of February, meaning several social events and other holiday plans in January will have to be cancelled.
As one of the lockdown’s major rules, Residents cannot leave their homes unless it is for essential medical needs, work, food shopping, or exercise.
Therefore, while this is not an outright ban on 2021 travel, you can only travel abroad for legally permitted reasons. These include work, education, medical treatment, caring responsibilities and other urgent reasons such as to visit someone who is terminally ill.
With regard to the rapidly changing state of the UK, it is hard to predict the fate of 2021 travel. However, this initial lockdown may loosen the grip of the new variant of COVID-19. If the cases see a sharp decline as planned, travellers will be able to get back on track with their 2021 travel plans.
Britons who are abroad are being advised to not return home “immediately”.
However, they are being encouraged to check arrangements for travelling home to the UK with their airlines and travel operators.
Even though many are certain this lockdown will not leave a mark on 2021 travel, holiday plans in January will have to be scrapped. Most airlines and travel operators in the UK will provide free date changes, vouchers and refunds to make this transition easier. But as of right now, holidays are off-limits.
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