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England’s New Leisure Lockdown to Start Nov. 5

Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland have set their own measures; ban still allows essential travel

The UK government has announced a four-week lockdown in England beginning Thursday Nov. 5. The measures will include a ban on leisure travel both to UK destinations and abroad. Travel will continue to be allowed for work purposes, according to a government announcement.

The lockdown will last for at least four weeks, through Wednesday, Dec. 2. At that point, the government said that it would “look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.”

The new measures apply to England. Other parts of the UK set their own public health measures, with Wales and Northern Ireland already effectively in lockdown and Scotland under a set of tough regional restrictions.

According to the website, “Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed – including holidays in the UK and abroad. This includes staying in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes.”

The page also confirms that hotels, hostels and other accommodation “should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.”

The latest lockdown measures come as the airline industry pushes the UK government to adopt testing protocols to reopen the country to passenger traffic which has been subject to crippling 14-day quarantine policy since June.

The slowdown in air travel has caused Paris Charles de Gaulle to surpass London’s Heathrow airport as the busiest airport in Europe for the first time.