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Leaving the UK on BA with International Travel Banned

Leaving the UK on BA with International Travel Banned

Old Jan 30, 21, 2:07 pm
  #1  
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Leaving the UK on BA with International Travel Banned

Given the latest guidelines, I'm concerned that my Partner and I won't be allowed to board the BA flight for a holiday I've booked for early March. I wanted to get the thoughts of those who know BA's position better than anyone...

We don't live in the UK and will be spending a few weeks here with family (isolating for the first ten days of course) before travelling on from the UK for a holiday. (There aren't any restrictions on doing so in our country of residence). On the return, we'll be flying home via the UK (no direct flights via anywhere else bar the US, where we're not allowed to transit as we will have been in the UK), staying in the UK for a couple of days, and then flying home again once we've isolated. I've done this before without any issue although with the increased scrutiny that appears to be levied on 'holidaymakers' I'm concerned we'll be barred from leaving the country, even if we've only been visiting!

Given that there is talk that airlines/check-in staff are going to be tasked with deciding who has a 'legitimate'/'essential' reason to travel, I'm curious as to whether people think they will kick up a fuss for us using the UK as a transit stop on a journey elsewhere, suggest we live here and are therefore departing on an illegal, non-essential holiday.

We'll obviously have all the paperwork to show that we live overseas (residency cards, utility bills etc...). Does anyone have an inkling on whether they think BA/whoever enforces the new international travel restrictions will have a problem with this given we're only visitors to the country? I understand there's a provision to allow visitors to 'return home', but there doesn't seem to be any provision for visitors to travel elsewhere, when in our case there is no restriction on us doing so in our country of residence.

Any pointers would be appreciated - really unsure about how to handle this. Might be easier to travel via the continent but flights are a nightmare.
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Old Jan 30, 21, 2:26 pm
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I am presuming that the new UK departure form will need legislation, and until that comes out we can only guess as to how this will work. One thing you currently can do (for most countries) is transit in LHR or LGW en route to your holiday, and I can't see that being forbidden. But if you stay more than a few days in London, and then put down on the departure form that you are off on holiday, I can see circumstances when BA would have to deny travel. It's possible the Statutory Instrument will explicitly exclude those permanently resident outside the UK, in which case you would be fine, but we may have to wait a week or so to see the SI.

More broadly though, I would query if this is the right time for travel complexity. In the last 48 hours countries such as UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Iran, Portugal and doubtless a few others have introduced travel restrictions.. And even when you get to the vacation location, you may face restrictions on your return flights. So I personally think it woud be wiser to either visit your relatives or to go on vacation, but mixing the two seems to asking for trouble. Indeed I would leave it altogether for a few months if I were you, this really isn't the time for leisure travel.
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Old Jan 30, 21, 2:28 pm
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U.K. law is applicable to everyone in the U.K. regardless of country of domicile. The laws of your home country are irrelevant.

You should only be leaving your UK address to return home, not to go on holiday.
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Old Jan 30, 21, 2:32 pm
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Your profile suggests you are based in HKG?


All Hong Kong residents arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed outside of mainland China, Macao or Taiwan in the 21 days before arrival must undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days at designated quarantine hotels at their own expense. This period may be extended to 28 days at the discretion of the Hong Kong SAR government.
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Old Jan 30, 21, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by acucobol View Post
Your profile suggests you are based in HKG?


All Hong Kong residents arriving at Hong Kong who have stayed outside of mainland China, Macao or Taiwan in the 21 days before arrival must undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days at designated quarantine hotels at their own expense. This period may be extended to 28 days at the discretion of the Hong Kong SAR government.
We used to be - now living in Slovakia where it's a 5 day quarantine and then a negative test lets you resume normal life - which at the moment is a full lockdown, anyway.
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Old Jan 30, 21, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I am presuming that the new UK departure form will need legislation, and until that comes out we can only guess as to how this will work. One thing you currently can do (for most countries) is transit in LHR or LGW en route to your holiday, and I can't see that being forbidden. But if you stay more than a few days in London, and then put down on the departure form that you are off on holiday, I can see circumstances when BA would have to deny travel. It's possible the Statutory Instrument will explicitly exclude those permanently resident outside the UK, in which case you would be fine, but we may have to wait a week or so to see the SI.

More broadly though, I would query if this is the right time for travel complexity. In the last 48 hours countries such as UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, France, Iran, Portugal and doubtless a few others have introduced travel restrictions.. And even when you get to the vacation location, you may face restrictions on your return flights. So I personally think it woud be wiser to either visit your relatives or to go on vacation, but mixing the two seems to asking for trouble. Indeed I would leave it altogether for a few months if I were you, this really isn't the time for leisure travel.
Thanks - this is what I am expecting too but was interested in hearing what those on the forum had to say. If it does turn out to be all too difficult then we will call it off and/or delay until life returns to normality (whenever that may be!)

It does seem a bit ridiculous (I noticed this whilst scrolling through the 'international travel' section of gov.uk) that we'd be perfectly entitled to fly off for an overseas wedding if we lived here!
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Last edited by Cathay1101; Jan 30, 21 at 3:08 pm
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Old Jan 30, 21, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by krispy84 View Post
U.K. law is applicable to everyone in the U.K. regardless of country of domicile. The laws of your home country are irrelevant.

You should only be leaving your UK address to return home, not to go on holiday.
The legislation doesn't appear to be this straightforward - it appears to only restrict people *living* in the UK (both Brits and foreign nationals).

"You can only travel internationally Ė or within the UK Ė where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting."

That would imply you have a home in the UK to leave. It doesn't explicitly specify what those visiting the UK ought to do when they may be staying somewhere temporarily.

Curiously, I actually called the Met Police about this and they were equally unsure. Hardly reassuring!
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Old Jan 30, 21, 3:55 pm
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It isn't curious in the least. The Met are not likely to opine on the contents of what the law will be at some point in the future.

In addition to all else, if you do make it to your holiday location (where is that?), you will also need to be prepared to remain there in the event that your routes back to the UK or Slovakia are foreclosed. Moreover, during this pandemic, don't look at testing as an administrative burden. What is your plan should you test positive whilst in the UK or at your holiday location? Where will you obtain medical care and what financial arrangements have you made should you be unable to travel for 90-120 days?
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Old Jan 30, 21, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It isn't curious in the least. The Met are not likely to opine on the contents of what the law will be at some point in the future.

In addition to all else, if you do make it to your holiday location (where is that?), you will also need to be prepared to remain there in the event that your routes back to the UK or Slovakia are foreclosed. Moreover, during this pandemic, don't look at testing as an administrative burden. What is your plan should you test positive whilst in the UK or at your holiday location? Where will you obtain medical care and what financial arrangements have you made should you be unable to travel for 90-120 days?
I'm not sure why our destination is relevant (it is a BA destination, though!)

Besides, with the way borders are slamming shut (as CWS noted), there's probably a slim chance that any of this will actually happen without incident. I doubt we'll end up going. That being said, I dread to think how long it will be before travel will return to normal as we know it - least of all in the UK - so it might be worthwhile figuring all this out sooner rather than later as we'll inevitably be travelling via the UK sometime again this year.

On the Police query point - I was actually just asking them to interpret what the law stated at present, hence my concern that they struggled with interpreting the live legislation they're tasked with enforcing...

On the other question of what we'd do in the event we tested positive: To start with, I'm not sure why that is of any concern or relevance to my original question - which was strictly a legal query. Nor am I inclined to bore you with the details of my insurance arrangements, but we've given it some thought.

The main point is that we won't be undertaking any of this if we're not legally allowed to do so, hence my foreboding here. Needless to say, we've given it some thought, and given we both have had COVID recently, have had antibody tests to that effect and are now statistically more likely to be struck by lightning than catch 'long COVID', we're happy to take that risk. Understandably, not everyone would do the same. That is, however, an altogether different question to if we're doing anything illegal, which is our main concern.
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Old Jan 30, 21, 4:50 pm
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Just a side note.... meeting indoors with people you donít live with is not allowed in the UK currently and you can receive a fine. Meeting with family is not allowed unless you live with them.

itís not really worth the hassle. Stay home and stay safe.
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Old Jan 30, 21, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by F100 View Post
Just a side note.... meeting indoors with people you donít live with is not allowed in the UK currently and you can receive a fine. Meeting with family is not allowed unless you live with them.

itís not really worth the hassle. Stay home and stay safe.
Yup - and to our understanding you're not even allowed to be with another household outdoors, either? We isolate at their home - which is the only feasible arrangement that justifies the trip at this point.
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Old Jan 30, 21, 4:56 pm
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Youíd not be allowed to isolate at their home. Technically, youíre not allowed to meet them and even outdoors itís with one other person only for limited exercise. There are hardly any shops, no restaurants, cafes or pubs open for indoor service.

Personally, I would wait until
you can come and at least have fun.... itís miserable here at the moment!
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Old Jan 30, 21, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by F100 View Post
Youíd not be allowed to isolate at their home. Technically, youíre not allowed to meet them and even outdoors itís with one other person only for limited exercise. There are hardly any shops, no restaurants, cafes or pubs open for indoor service.

Personally, I would wait until
you can come and at least have fun.... itís miserable here at the moment!
That must be a fairly recent thing then - in past we've been able to put their address on our PLF and self-isolate at their place without any difficulty (see 'How to self-isolate in your accommodation' https://www.gov.uk/government/public...avel-to-the-uk)
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Old Jan 30, 21, 5:16 pm
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Originally Posted by F100 View Post
Youíd not be allowed to isolate at their home. Technically, youíre not allowed to meet them and even outdoors itís with one other person only for limited exercise.
The following is from gov.uk regarding isolating at someone else's home:

How to self-isolate in your accommodationYou should self-isolate in one place for the full self-isolation period, where you can have food and other necessities delivered.You must self-isolate at the address you provided on the passenger locator form.This can include:
  • your own home
  • staying with friends or family
  • a hotel or other temporary accommodation
Meanwhile the lockdown rules state that "leaving home" is not permitted for social gatherings, unless to visit your support bubble / linked household.

My take on this is that the subject of "traveling from abroad into the UK to visit family" is not well covered in the current lockdown rules and is ambiguous at best. Until the lockdown ends or there is explicit legislation/guidance to deny entry to foreigners from non "red zone" countries for non essential purposes, questions like those asked by the OP are very much valid. Whether or not you as a foreigner can be stopped from exiting the country is questionable, and I think it's best to see the new rules formalized before making any guesses as to how that might go.
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Old Jan 31, 21, 1:10 am
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You mention on your planned trip that on the way back from your holiday you will be staying a couple of days in the UK again before getting your flight home. Is the plan to stay with your family and giving that address on your locator form when you land back in the UK or at a hotel?
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