The emotional and economic damage caused by incoherent anti-travel policies increases by the day

Families are waiting to be reunited and the travel industry is clinging on for dear life, writes Simon Calder, while the rest of us are yearning for an escape from the narrow lives we’ve been forced to endure

Saturday 03 April 2021 00:00
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<p>International leisure travel may be possible six weeks from now, from England at least</p>

International leisure travel may be possible six weeks from now, from England at least

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fter almost three months, writing the following sentence has become almost muscle memory: “It is illegal to travel abroad for non-essential purposes.”

Even turning up at an airport and hoping to travel abroad – whether on holiday or to see a loved one – is punishable with a £5,000 fixed penalty.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the rule against overseas leisure travel is being swerved by several thousand people each day. Many of them deploy the so-called Stanley Johnson defence: the clause in the law that allows travel without formality for the purposes of attending to essential work in a second home – or even visiting an estate agent abroad.

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