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The £6,400 fine you could face at the airport

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Written by: Emma Lunn
08/03/2021
From today, Brits travelling abroad need to complete and carry a new form stating that their trip is permitted under national lockdown rules – or be fined up to £6,400.

The form must be downloaded from the government website, signed before travel, and carried or downloaded onto a mobile phone.

Airlines and ferries will be checking the forms have been completed before boarding, either at check-in or the departure gate.

Passengers who don’t have a valid form may be denied access to their flight or sailing. Carriers will also be legally obliged to set out on their website that the form must be completed before travelling.

Spot checks

Police have been stepping up their presence at ports and airports in recent weeks. Officers will be conducting spot checks and have the power to ask travellers to produce a completed form.

Children go back to school today, but stay at home rules are still in place, which means it’s illegal to travel abroad without a permitted reason, such as for education or work.

Fixed penalty notice

Passengers who are identified by police as attempting to travel internationally for reasons that are not currently permitted will be asked to return home and risk receiving a fixed penalty notice for breaking stay-at-home rules.

These fines start at £200 and ladder up to a maximum of £6,400.

The Home Office announced an additional £60m for police in February – including £2m to cover the costs of extra activity by police at airports and ports.

Other border measures

The form is the latest action taken by the government regarding minimising coronavirus transmission at the UK’s borders.

All travel corridors were closed in January after new variants of the coronavirus were found in various countries. From 18 January, all international arrivals to the UK have needed to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test and self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.

A hotel quarantine regime for arrivals in England from ‘red list’ countries began on 15 February. Hotel quarantine costs £1,750 per person for a 10-day stay. All arrivals in Scotland must go into hotel quarantine.

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