1st Nov 2020 @ 10:13 am

Nine days after the UK government placed the Canary Islands on their safe travel list, it has effectively banned holidays from England for four weeks, following Boris Johnson’s announcement of a national English lockdown beginning on November 5th and lasting until December 2nd.

The lockdown rules do not specifically ban holidays, but travelling for holiday purposes is not listed among the justifiable reasons for leaving home. As a result, international travel for holiday purposes, as well as domestic holidays within the UK, is effectively banned.

Easyjet and TUI UK have confirmed that they will continue to fly as normal until 4th November, the last date upon which flights abroad will be permitted. Other operators are likely to follow suit. If you’ve booked a holiday between November 5th and December 2nd, your travel provider should be in contact, and a refund may be possible.

Nevertheless, airlines will still be operating around 30% of flights – mainly to fetch tourists back from holiday destinations. If your flight is not cancelled, you may not be entitled to a refund, even though it is illegal to catch it. In this case, some airlines offer credit vouchers instead.   

For more details, we’d recommend Simon Calder’s excellent piece in The Independent.

The UK government’s decision does solve one problem for English travellers – whether they’ll need to get a test before travelling. The answer now is:  not before lockdown, but yes after it ends on 2nd December, as Canarian law currently stands.

The lockdown only applies to England; however, Wales and Northern Ireland are already under lockdowns that prohibit non-essential travel. Scotland’s tier system comes into effect tomorrow and bans all non-essential travel from Tier 3 areas, which include most major cities.