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Published on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Clients are STILL going on holiday during lockdown, say travel agents


Almost two-thirds of travel agents say they have clients who are still travelling despite the lockdown.

In response to a recent TravelMole poll, almost 35% said their clients were travelling on business but a further 30% said some clients were taking leisure trips, even though this is against the law.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said repeatedly that travelling on holiday is illegal under the current lockdown restrictions.

In a recent Downing Street coronavirus briefing it was suggested that security measures would be tightened at airports to prevent people from getting on flights without a permitted reason.

However, hundreds of travel agents who responded to the TravelMole poll said their clients were still taking holidays. It wasn't specified whether they were largely domestic or overseas trips, but both are banned.

A newspaper article on Sunday suggested Airbnb hosts were flouting lockdown restrictions by letting holiday accommodation over the half-term break.

Mr Johnson is expected to announce on 22 February how and when lockdown restrictions are likely to be eased, but has given no indication when leisure travel is likely to be permitted.

Various Government ministers, including Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps have given contradictory statements about the possibility of travel this summer.

Meanwhile, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that it was unlikely that Scots would be able to take foreign holidays this summer. She even said it wasn't certain that domestic travel would be permitted over the Easter break.

In the meantime, anyone who goes abroad must self-isolate for up to 10 days on their return to the UK. Since Monday, everyone returning to Scotland and anyone returning to England from 33 'red-list' countries must quarantine in a Government-approved hotel at a cost of £1,750 each.

They must also have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before their return, although many of those who have travelled for permitted reasons, such as work, say they haven't been asked to provide proof of their test.


By Linsey McNeill, Editor (UK)

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