Fines for British people traveling abroad unnecessarily under new legislation expected to be passed within a week – What will apply to protest rallies
Those who attempt to travel abroad for no apparent reason from Britain before the end of June face a heavy fine of (5,000 (around € 5,800) under new COVID legislation, which is expected to be put to a vote in the local parliament within a week.
Under the new legislation, demonstrations will be allowed – subject to the measures – as they will be exempted from the ban on mass rallies.
The British MPs will vote on the new legislation on Thursday. Once approved, the arrangements will take effect next Monday, March 29th.
Although some Conservative lawmakers are reportedly ready to vote against the bill, the government is expected to easily win the support of the House of Commons, according to Sky News.
Settings expire on June 30, unless removed or modified earlier. The law also sets out a series of “steps” to ease the lockdown.
What is provided for travel abroad
With regard to travel abroad, the new legislation stipulates that no one can leave England to travel to a destination outside the United Kingdom without good reason.
Fines of λι 5,000 can be imposed on those who violate this rule. Unnecessary travel abroad was already considered illegal, but this penalty is a new measure.
At the same time, a warning fine of λι 200 (approximately € 230) may be imposed on those who do not complete the required travel declaration form, which includes personal details and reasons for traveling, for those leaving the United Kingdom.
There are some exceptions to the ban, which include travel to:
Legal obligations or elections.
Moving, selling or renting a property.
Reasons for childcare or to be present at the birth of a child.
Visiting a relative or close friend whose health is in critical condition.
Attendance at a close relative’s wedding ceremony.
Avoiding the risk of injury.
The ban does not apply to those traveling to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland – unless this is their final destination.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was too early to say what would happen during the holidays. “The earliest date we can allow international travel… is May 17th. “That has not changed,” Hancock told Sky News.
What is provided for the demonstrations
Demonstrations will be considered a permissible exception to the ban on mass gatherings, provided that “they are organized by a business, a charity, a public organization or a political organization.”
Organizers should also take the “required precautionary precautions” – possibly ensuring that those in attendance wear masks and keep their distance.
It was preceded by a letter from MPs, who stressed that it is not acceptable to consider those participating in a protest illegal.
With information from Sky News, Reuters