Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation and outlined his plans for lifting coronavirus lockdown. While the announcement saw some of the Government’s most stringent rules eased, international travel restrictions still remain in place. Some of the new rules mean that British citizens can now leave the house for exercise more than once a day, they can sit in parks and on beaches and can drive to locations for exercise.
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Those who can easily work from home have been encouraged to continue doing so, but those who can’t, such as those working in construction, have been told they can now return to work.
But for many of people with holiday plans, and looking for a trip abroad this summer, the announcement came as a disappointment.
In fact, the UK has now imposed strict new isolation rules for people flying into the country which could see Britons discouraged from flying abroad.
The Government confirmed that it will force anyone flying into the country to isolate for 14 days to stop new coronavirus infections.
All people arriving at airports, ports and on the Eurostar trains will have to provide a UK address where they will be staying and immediately self-isolating for 14 days.
UK authorities will then conduct spot checks on these individuals, with those caught breaking the rules receiving fines of up to £1,000 or being deported.
The French government was planning on imposing the same rules for Britons flying into France.
However, yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron and Mr Johnson came to an amiable agreement which means that Britons will not be put in quarantine when they enter France, and French holidaymakers will not be quarantined if they enter the UK.
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The two leaders said in a joint statement: “The Prime Minister and the President agreed to work together in taking forward appropriate border measures.
“This cooperation is particularly necessary for the management of our common border.
“No quarantine measures would apply to travellers coming from France at this stage.
“Any measures on either side would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner.
“A working group between the two Governments will be set up to ensure this consultation throughout the coming weeks.”
The extension of lockdown has thrown the travel industry into disarray with many travel companies and airlines facing more weeks of slow business and financial strain.
UK airlines threatened to ground their fleets last night in response to the Government’s quarantine scheme.
The Airport Operators Association, has said that the quarantine rules will have a “devastating impact” on the travel industry.
The main reason that these new rules could be off-putting for UK travellers is that they will likely have to take up to a month off work if they want to take a two-week holiday.
Chief executive of industry body Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade said that these new rules are “not the way” to adapt to coronavirus.
He said: “We all – including Government – need to adapt to the new normal but closing off air travel in this way is not the way to achieve this.
“Ministers are effectively telling people they can no longer travel for the foreseeable future and airlines will respond by grounding their operations.”
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