BRITS are rushing to jet off on a last minute break today to escape the month-long second lockdown starting in England tomorrow.
Queues were seen building at Heathrow Airport this morning as people make the most of being able to go on holiday for one more day.
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Travellers arrived bright and early from 6am to Terminal 5, with many taking advantage of the opportunity to get away before the country shuts down.
Restrictions don't come into force until tomorrow – with anyone on holiday already allowed to finish up their trip before returning home to the lockdown.
As a result, people keen to spend time somewhere other than their living room have been hurriedly booking trips to winter sun destinations.
According to a number of travel agents, phones have been ringing non-stop this week with requests to secure holidays before tomorrow morning.
But those jetting off include aren't just people getting in a last trip before weeks of severe restrictions.
It will also include travellers on business trips, expats heading back home and those with second homes abroad able to work and live from there.
Restrictions coming into place after midnight on Thursday mean that travel outside the country will be banned.
Brits will also be told not to travel in the UK and overnight stays outside the home will be discouraged – unless they are for work reasons.
The lockdown is set to last until December 2 in an attempt to save the nation's Christmas.
And the rules will only apply to England – with Scotland and Wales insisting they will apply their own regulations.
The ban also marks the second time the government has advised against international travel this year – after the Foreign Office urged Brits not to leave the country in March.
It comes as a severe blow to the beleaguered travel industry as the pandemic continues to ground flights across the world.
A number of airlines are continuing to run flights as planned until tomorrow.
British Airways has said passengers can change flight dates in the next 12 months without being charged, or can take a voucher until April 30, 2022.
EasyJet are reviewing their flights and holidays planned during the lockdown period but said it was "likely" they would be cancelled until next month.
While TUI holidays will go ahead until the lockdown, flights and trips after this may be affected.
Here is everything to know about getting a refund if your holiday or flights are affected.
You are entitled to a cash refund if they've cancelled your holiday but many have large delays or may offer vouchers instead.
If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel to countries or regions, you may also be covered for cancellations by your travel insurance if the holiday provider or airline is not helping you.
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