Van-Tam warns coronavirus will have 'recurrent winter problems'
Under coronavirus restrictions in the UK, holidays abroad are banned until at least May 17 with any travellers forced to self-isolate for 10 days and under-go triple testing. But new rules introduced now require Britons to show proof a journey abroad is essential after Mediterranean countries opened up for those vaccinated.
The travel permits were unveiled on Friday, six weeks after Home Secretary Priti Patel hinted they would be needed.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has warned prospective travellers those without a permit and supporting evidence would be slapped with a £200 fine.
The DfT also suggested they could bar rule-breakers from their flights, and shared police are increasing patrols at ports and airports.
The three-page "travel declaration form" asks people to set out their reason for having to go abroad during the travel ban and to bring "evidence" such as an employer's letter and professional ID card if their justification is work.
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Coronavirus news: Travel permits will be needed by Brits looking to go abroad this Easter
Coronavirus news: The DfT said a three page document with evidence for a reason of travel will be needed to board a flight
The move prompted anger from Tory MPs, with Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee, telling the Telegraph “it's time that we were starting to get rid of intrusive regulations” as cases fall, “not bringing in new ones”.
He said: “This threatens to be yet another bureaucratic nightmare which will limit people's freedom, give too much control to the state and will achieve nothing whatsoever in the control of Covid."
A DfT source defended the permits and said: "They are not designed to catch people out.
“It's to put front and centre of people's minds that they should not be travelling at the current time."
Coronavirus news: Tory MPs and business leaders said the move was ‘another bureaucratic nightmare’
Coronavirus news: Matt Hancock shared cases had fallen by a third this week and touted the vaccine rollout
It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock shared coronavirus cases across the UK had fallen by a third and deaths were down by 41 percent.
Coronavirus news: 22,392,883 vaccine doses have been administered in the UK
Coronavirus news: Another 5,947 cases and 236 deaths were recorded yesterday
Yesterday saw the UK record another 5,947 cases and 236 deaths within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus.
In total, the UK has recorded 4,207,304 cases and 124,261 deaths.
Yesterday also saw the UK vaccine figures reach 21,358,815 first doses administered and 1,034,068 second doses given.
In total, the UK has administered 22,392,883 vaccines, and has given the jab to around two in five adults across the UK.