Airlines ‘planning cancellations’ as non-essential outbound travel to be banned

All non-essential travel will be banned as part of new lockdown restrictions for England, according to reports and leading industry sources

Speculation that new month-long measures announced tonight will include a ban on outbound leisure travel from this Thursday to December was rife following leaks from the government.

No specific mention was made of the ban on non-essential travel in a special Downing Street press conference tonight, but most leading news sites have reported it as being part of the new measures.

The move will be a huge blow to a travel industry reeling from COVID-19 and after a glimmer of hope was offered for winter holidays and future bookings with the opening travel corridors to the Canaries and the Maldives.

According to reports cabinet meeting was held earlier today with a further announcement expected on Monday, but the leaks prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to hold a press conference tonight.

Following the announcement, Paul Charles, of the PC Agency, who has been a leading voice in the sector during the pandemic tweeted:

“I understand that airline planning teams are tonight working on cancelling the vast majority of leisure flights from 5th November to 2nd December, as the @FCDOtravelGovUK advice is about to be changed to a ban on all non-essential travel.”

Prior to tonight’s announcement other well-placed sources in the media revealed the plan to prevent outbound travel.

Fraser Nelson, a Daily Telegraph columnist and editor of The Spectator, tweeted: “Outbound international travel will be banned, except for work. Travel within the UK will be discouraged, except for work”.

Robert Peston, political editor for ITV, tweeted: “Outbound international travel will be banned, except for work. Same applies for travel within England and overnight stays away from home.”


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