Bosses urge Dominic Raab to lift the travel ban on 'low-risk' holidays

Travel bosses urge Dominic Raab to lift the travel ban on ‘low-risk’ foreign holidays when the second lockdown comes to an end

  • Travel bosses urged Dominic Raab to lift the blanket ban on ‘non-essential travel’
  • They have asked the Foreign Secretary to allow holidays that pose a ‘low-risk’  
  • All outbound international travel banned apart from exceptional circumstances

Dominic Raab is being urged by travel bosses to lift the blanket ban on ‘non-essential travel’ and allow international holidays that pose a ‘low-risk’ to British travellers to go ahead following the second national lockdown.

Nearly 70 travel companies have asked the Foreign Secretary to allow travel to foreign destinations that are not high-risk in an effort to keep the travel industry moving and unlock flights to countries outside of Europe. 

The calls comes after Boris Johnson was catapulted into plunging the UK into a second national lockdown amid a rise in coronavirus cases this month.  

The new rules, which ban all outbound international travel, apart from in exceptional circumstances, are set to be introduced as of today.

Travel bosses are urging Dominic Raab to allow holidays that pose a ‘low-risk’ to British travellers to go ahead

Travel from England to other parts of the UK – apart from for work – will also be banned as part of the new rules, which are set to last until December 2

In a letter to Mr Raab, travel bosses point out that advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) currently states that travellers wishing to fly to non-exempt countries must do so with ‘inadequate or no insurance’.

The letter, seen by The Daily Telegraph, reads: ‘We all either work for or represent specialist and long-haul tour operators, and have all had to make valued members of staff redundant.’

Earlier this week, England faced a fresh round of holiday chaos ahead of strict new winter lockdown rules which will outlaw winter getaways.

The new rules, which will see both international travel and travel inside the UK banned for a month, sparked a stampede of people rushing to the departure gates before they were slammed shut to all but a handful of travellers.

Meanwhile top tour and flight operators revealed plans to cut huge swathes of flights due to the new rules – with some already announcing plans to offer full cash refunds to customers.

Other top travel industry chiefs called for more support to help the struggling tourism trade – which faced similar restrictions back in March. 

Following the announcement, TUI, the world’s largest travel and tourism company, revealed its customers will be offered a refund for holidays dashed by the new lockdown laws, while easyJet chiefs called for support for the travel industry.

Passengers rush to a very busy Heathrow Airport on the last day before national lockdown 

What are the exemptions for travel? 

According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), going on holiday will be banned as of Thursday – with no exceptions.

The ban is currently set to last until December 2. 

Under the new rules people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or ‘other legally permitted exemptions’. 

Overnight stays away from primary residences will also not be allowed, except for specific exceptions including for work.

In a statement, a spokesperson for TUI said: ‘Following the recent announcement about additional restrictions in England from 00:01 on Thursday 5 November all TUI holidays between Sunday, November 1 and Wednesday, November 4 are currently due to operate as planned.

‘Customers due to travel before Thursday are able to amend their holiday to a later date for free.

‘We understand that holidays abroad (for those living in England) are unable to take place from 00:01 on Thursday, November 5.

‘As soon as we have more information we will be updating customers as soon as we can.

‘If holidays are unable to take place, customers will be notified and offered the option to amend with an incentive, receive an ATOL-protected refund credit note with a re-booking incentive, or cancel and receive a full cash refund within 14 days.

‘Customers currently on holiday can continue to enjoy their holiday as planned.’

Elsewhere Jet2 said it was planning to continue as normal until the lockdown deadline.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are planning to operate as normal between now and Wednesday, November 4, so customers wanting to get away from the cold and gloom can still book and travel as normal.’ 

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