‘Thousands’ of Brits flock to airports to fly abroad before lockdown travel ban

Travellers are lining up at airports to escape the UK ahead of a month-long travel ban imposed as part of a second lockdown due to commence on Thursday.

Photos from Heathrow Airport saw huge lines of passengers preparing to check in and jet out of the UK before a strict travel ban begins on November 5 – which is expected to remain in place until at least December 2.

The rush for flights was witnessed on Sunday, hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday night his intention to implement a one month lockdown in England in the continuing fight against coronavirus.

The Sun claims that "thousands of Brit holidaymakers" have been amid those queuing up at airports on Sunday.

Strict new rules will see outbound international flights banned – while non-essential travel within the UK will also not permitted.

As a result of the international travel ban, thousands of winter holiday plans have been put on ice – while it is unclear if holiday firms will be able to refund customers for cancelled trips.

Back in March, the Foreign Office urged British nationals not to travel abroad as the first lockdown was implemented.

The official UK government website states: “The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.

“Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

“This advice is being kept under constant review.

“Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.”

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The list of countries exempt from travel bans include a number of European countries, including Germany, Gibraltar, and Sweden.

While parts of the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Antarctica are also exempt.

Travel corridors are still in place with a high number of nations – meaning those returning to the UK won’t currently need to self-isolate upon arrival.

However, the government warns: “We will keep the conditions in these countries, territories and regions under review. If they worsen we will reintroduce self-isolation requirements.”

It is feared the new travel ban could have a devastating impact on the travel industry – with EasyJet and Heathrow Airport announcing redundancies last week.

Although travel companies are supposed to offer a refund to customers who have been unable to travel due to lockdown, there were some firms that refused to offer such refunds due to flights continuing to travel to the destinations.

While the travel ban is to be in place across England from Thursday, Scotland and Wales have signalled their devolved governments will apply their own regulations as Covid-19 cases continue to spike across the UK.

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