Whilst national restrictions are in place making it illegal for most people to travel, there are still a small minority who are allowed to leave the country for permitted reasons. However, some people are still breaking the rules despite the risk of huge fines and so a new document has been introduced to crack down on people travelling illegally. So where do you find this travel form and what happens if you don’t sign it? Read on to find out all you need to know about this latest essential travel rule.

What is the Travel Form?

The travel form has been put into place by the UK government in a bid to stop people making non-essential trips abroad. The form was made compulsory to people leaving England from Monday (8 March) and passengers must complete it before travelling to declare the reason for their trip is legal. This will not only affect passengers leaving the country by plane but also boats and cars too.

Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport © Heathrow Media Centre

Where to Find the Form

The form can be found on the Government’s website here. It requires travellers to sign it before leaving the country and you must either carry a copy or download it onto your phone. The website also recommends what evidence you should bring with you to declare your trip is essential depending on your circumstances.

What are the Legally Permitted Reasons to Travel?

Trips that are deemed essential for international travel include work, volunteering, education, medical or compassionate grounds, weddings, funerals and related events. This page lists the few occupations of people that do not need to fill out a form.

Heathrow Airport
Travellers who do not fill out the form may face a fine © Heathrow Media Centre

What If I Don’t Complete the Form?

It will be an offence to fail to produce a completed travel form and individuals could face a £200 fine. Extra police officers have been deployed at airports and ports in the last few weeks in order to carry out spot checks to ensure people are complying with the rules. Passengers who do not have a valid form may also be denied access to their booked service. The maximum fine you may receive is £6,400.

Airline, train, and ferry companies will also be held responsible if they are found to have let passengers leave the country without proof of a legitimate reason for travel.

The new travel form combined with the increased presence of police forces will hopefully help to challenge dishonest passengers trying to flee the country and ultimately put a stop to illegal international travel amid the global pandemic. But what do you think about this latest rule? Do you think the travel form is necessary? Let us know below.  

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