In view of the spread of COVID-19, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a ban on non-essential international travel from and to the country till at least 17 May. Though travel and aviation sectors have been among the hardest-hit during the pandemic, the ban came as the new COVID-19 strain has been spreading.
PM Johnson said domestic overnight stays and self-contained accommodation will be allowed no earlier than 12 April but non-essential international travel will remain banned.
Highlighting the road map of lockdown, Johnson said: “This is part of the roadmap’s second step and it will take place at least five weeks after the first step – 8 March – but could be postponed if the PM and his advisers say it is necessary.” He said the date for international holidays to be allowed is not before 17 May.
The government’s Global Travel Taskforce will reconvene to issue a report by 12 April recommending how international trips can resume safely, he said. Boris Johnson said this will ‘give people time to make their plans for the summer’.
Britain is looking at a system of allowing vaccinated individuals to travel more freely internationally, the statement added. The announcement came as Johnson set out a phased plan to end England’s lockdown, offering a cautious approach to try to prevent a return to wholesale restrictions that have hobbled the economy.
Johnson, under pressure to allow more freedoms to millions stuck at home and offer hope to shuttered businesses. The new roadmap will pass through four stages, with five weeks in between, and the final step, when most restrictions will be lifted.