England to Impose £5,000 ($6,900) Fines on Residents Traveling Abroad Without Reasonable Excuse

England announced late Monday that it would levy fines of £5,000 ($6,900) for residents that have been “found at an embarkation point” without a “reasonable excuse” for travel.

The banning of holidays travel abroad for the people of England was part of the British nation’s new coronavirus legislation which would come into effect starting on March 29.

The move is part of the government’s bid to tighten the country’s border controls as the rate of COVID-19 infection in Europe continued to remain at alarming levels over the recent weeks.

The ban on foreign travel would be observed on both Britons and other European citizens living in the U.K. as traveling abroad to spend holidays or to hold family reunions could cause them to import new coronavirus variants on their return.

The document of the new legislation states that residents would not be allowed to “leave England to travel to a destination outside the United Kingdom, or travel to, or be present at, an embarkation point to travel from there to a destination outside the United Kingdom” without a reasonable excuse.

Traveling for work, study, moving house or attending a major family event such as a birth, wedding or funeral are the only exemptions to the ban.

According to British Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the government’s initial plan to review international travel in April and possibly allow it from May 17 remains.

However, the parliament included the travel fines in the rolling out of the new legislation in case that the original plan would not be possible.

“The earliest date by which we will allow for international travel…is the 17th May. That has not changed,” Hancock said in a press release.

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