No Overseas or Local Vacation for Britons in 2021, Warns the U.K. Government

London, United Kingdom

The U.K. government warns the nation not to book any vacation until most adults are immunized against COVID-19.

On Wednesday, February 10, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that overseas trips might not be possible this year. He indicated that the popular staycation could also be beyond consideration.

The country has administered more than 12.5 million COVID-19 jabs so far. It means that around 18 percent of the U.K. population has gotten their vaccine.

At the current pace, the entire adult population will have received the first dose by the end of June 2021.

However, the Transport Secretary stressed out that it is first needed to complete the program and wait for other countries to catch up to allow international travel.

The announcement comes two weeks after Nadhim Zahawi, the minister responsible for the vaccination process in the U.K. advised Britons not to book their summer holiday yet.

At the same time, the U.K. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, encouraged Britons to be patient. 

He said that further information on the subject would be available in the last week of February. Potential loosening of local restrictions is also part of the negotiations.

Additionally, new entry requirements are about to come into effect on Monday, February 15. All U.K. and Irish residents returning from the red-listed countries will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine at a government-designated hotel. 

Heathrow international Airport, The U.K
Heathrow international Airport, The U.K

International travelers who have visited a red-listed country ten days before departure will be banned from entering the U.K.

Matt Hancock, the Secretary of Health, announced that passengers who shall conceal visiting affected destinations might be subject to a fine of £10,000 (USD$ 13,800) or even up to 10 years of imprisonment.

Incoming residents will have to purchase a quarantine package for £1,750 (USD$ 2,400), which includes COVID-19 testing at a government-approved accommodation, as well as transportation to the facility. 

On arrival, passengers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before departure.

They are also required to take a COVID-19 test on the second and eighth day of their quarantine. Those must be booked through an online portal before starting the journey.

The testing requirements and self-quarantining apply to other travelers.