Employees travelling from the UK after 29th March 2021?
Whilst plans are in place to ease us out of Lockdown it looks like some form of restrictions will be here for the foreseeable future. Foreign holidays are not going to be an option this year again as the government have published new regulations to prevent unnecessary travel outside the UK.
New Covid-19 regulations coming into effect from 29th March make it illegal to leave the UK without a reasonable excuse.
No one will be allowed to be at an embarkation point (airport, ferry port, train station) with the purpose of travelling to a destination outside the UK without a reasonable excuse. Trying to travel without a reasonable excuse could result in a fine of £5,000. Travellers will be asked to complete a travel declaration form.
So, just what are considered to be reasonable excuses?
- To travel anywhere inside in the common travel area – the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands
- To travel for work that cannot be done from the UK
- To carry out voluntary or charitable services that cannot be done from the UK
- To attend a course of study that cannot be done from the UK
- To return to your home country for a vacation between 29 March and 29 April if you’re a foreign student studying in the UK
- To travel for training or competitions if you’re an elite sportsperson
- To fulfil a legal obligation or participate in legal proceedings
- To complete certain aspects of a property purchase
- To seek medical assistance, attend a clinical appointment, avoid illness/injury or to escape a risk of harm
- To attend an expectant mother giving birth at the mother’s request
- To visit a person receiving treatment in a hospital
- To stay in a hospice or care home
- To take someone to a medical appointment under certain circumstances
- To provide care and assistance to a vulnerable person
- To provide emergency assistance to any person
- To visit a friend or family member who is dying
- To attend a funeral
- To get married or attend a wedding/civil partnership ceremony
- To meet family members who live in a different country where a child is involved in various circumstances
- To partake in certain aspects of child adoption
- To vote in an election or a referendum where it’s not possible to vote from the UK
- To leave if you’re in the UK on a temporary basis/are not resident
- If you’re the child/dependent of a person who has a reasonable excuse to travel and no alternative care arrangements can be made
In essence, going on holiday is not considered to be a reasonable excuse! It’s worth bearing all this in mind because even if you didn’t have any plans to travel, members of your team may have done and this could result in requests to withdraw holiday bookings.
Bear in mind that you do not have to agree for holiday to be withdrawn if it’s already been approved (and you may not want to allow it to be withdrawn if people still have lots of leave to take!). No one needs a sore head from moving holidays and trying to organise cover if needed. Nightmare!
If you need any help reviewing your holiday policy or working out holiday entitlement please contact us.