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Government to fine people £5,000 for going on holiday abroad

Travel shares take a hit following news

Fines of £5,000 are set to be introduced for people from England who travel abroad before the end of June as the country is taking measures to control its borders.

While the government is still reviewing the possibility of international travel in April, ahead of a possible return in May, health minister Matt Hancock said travel fines were a part of legislation in the event that a resumption of travel is not possible.

The news took a toll on stocks in the travel industry with IAG, owner of British Airways, falling by 4.26% in early morning trading and InterContinental Hotels Group falling by 1.31%.

Foreign holidays are currently banned by the UK government with “the earliest date by which we will allow for international travel…is the 17th May”, according to Matt Hancock. “That has not changed,” he added.

Question marks remain over whether or not people can travel abroad without a specific reason such as work or education will still be addressed by the government’s travel review, which is due to report on April 12, said Hancock.

However, the travel industry and consumers alike are fearing the worst as cases of coronavirus are rising in Europe, and the vaccine roll-out looks as though it could stall.

Airlines are now facing the prospect of a second summer without revenue, having already taken measures to raise money in order to survive the first time around.

Hancock reaffirmed that it remained too soon to give an answer on what the government’s decision on holidays would be.

“The reason for that is that we are seeing this third wave rising in some parts of Europe and we’re also seeing new variants and it is very important that we protect the progress that we’ve been able to make here in the UK,” he said.

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