PM rules out lifting overseas travel ban to visit friends and relatives

Neil Lancefield
·1-min read

Boris Johnson has ruled out lifting the ban on people visiting loved ones overseas.

Foreign travel from the UK is only permitted for limited reasons such as work, education, medical treatment and funerals.

A member of the public named Beatrice from London asked Mr Johnson at a Downing Street press conference if “seeing family will be incorporated as an exception” to the coronavirus travel ban.

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“For those with family abroad, they have not been able to see them for months,” she said.

The Prime Minister replied: “The rules about what you can do, what people can do, to see their families abroad will be governed entirely by the rules that cover travel abroad and people coming from abroad.

“At the moment, as you know, it’s still forbidden to travel.”

He explained that “the most important thing” for the UK is to “protect our country insofar as we can” and “do as much as we can to prevent the virus coming back in from abroad”.

Mr Johnson added: “We will be saying more about seeing family abroad and travel abroad, but it won’t be until at least April 5.”

That is the date on which he has previously pledged to give an update on the progress of the Global Travel Taskforce, which is considering how and when international leisure travel could resume.

Under England’s road map for easing pandemic rules, the earliest that overseas leisure travel could be permitted is May 17.

Watch: How England will leave lockdown