Protests allowed but holidays abroad banned under new coronavirus laws

Protests will be permitted but holidays abroad will be banned under new coronavirus laws coming into force from 29 March.

The government has published the new “steps” legislation for England, which will govern the gradual easing of restrictions into the summer.

The laws, which will expire on 30 June unless they are scrapped or changed in the meantime, create new powers for police to fine holidaymakers £5,000.

They create a formal prohibition on “leaving the United Kingdom without a reasonable excuse.”

Permitted reasons include work, study, legal obligations, moving home or major life events such as attending weddings or funerals.

Anyone breaking the new ban can be fined £5,000 and the law also creates an obligation to fill in a form declaring reasons for travel. Anyone who fails to disclose the required information could be fined £200.

The travel ban does not apply to those going to the common travel area of the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland unless that is not the final destination.

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