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England's Path Out of Restrictions

Poster Laughing Spam Filter posted a link to this article in another thread, but I think it deserves more prominence. England has laid out a series of "not-before" dates for loosening of pandemic-related restrictions. At the end of the article the underlying assumptions are given. The other components of the UK may end up with different paths forward.

The reference to "international travel" is open to interpretation. I assume it refers to outbound travel by residents of England.

https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-52530518

These are some reopening dates of possible interest to potential visitors:

  • Outdoor dining not before April 12.
  • Indoor dining (apparently, because not specifically mentioned) not before June 12.

  • All shops not before April 12.

  • Self-contained accommodations open for UK resident “staycations” (no mixing of households) not before April 12.

  • Hotels, B&B, etc. (no mixing of households) not before May 17.

  • All lodgings without restriction not before June 21 [date corrected].

  • Museums not before May 17.

  • Theatres not before May 17, at half capacity. (Full capacity not before June 21 [date corrected].)

  • International travel not before May 17. (There's no indication this applies to incoming foreign visitors.)

Posted by
1796 posts

Every opening, no matter how small, is encouraging. In NY, movie theaters will open Wednesday at 25%. Baby steps, but still steps forward.

Posted by
17868 posts

Wally, in a different thread Nigel has confirmed my suspicion that the reference to international travel is for English folks leaving the country for holidays. It doesn't have anything to do with Americans or others traveling to England. That's a separate topic and will surely depend on the infection rate in the US (or other point of origin) as well as conditions in England.

Posted by
6051 posts

Wally, they only relate to England because the other three home countries have devolved administrations. England has little or no say in what they decide. More information here if you are interested
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/devolution-of-powers-to-scotland-wales-and-northern-ireland
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devolution_in_the_United_Kingdom

Regarding international travel, as it stands we are not allowed to travel abroad except for a short list of permitted reasons. It is illegal to travel abroad for leisure or tourism. This change to international travel will remove these restrictions on outbound travel. Restrictions in destinations will obviously still apply.
It is perfectly possible that Scotland, Wales, NI might have different restrictions on international travel, or any other form of restriction.
This is how it has been throughout the lockdown. The borders between the home nations have remained open for a lot of travel eg to go to work but a number of restrictions have been in place. Some of my family live right on the English/Wales border and differences between the areas have caused real confusion and difficulties.

Ireland and the U.K. are part of the Common Travel Area (CTA) so free travel for people remains between the nations although quarantine requirements are still valid.

Posted by
12116 posts

I agree with you Barbara.

Lets see if things get better faster than anticipated and things get accelerated over time.

And most Americans could not begin to explain the difference between the UK, Great Britain and England.

1) Great Britain is the name of the island;
2) that is home to the countries of England, Wales, and Scotland;
3) the United Kingdom (UK) is a country that is a union of the countries on the island of Great Britain, along with the country of Northern Ireland

The word might have gotten out early and that would explain all the bookings with TUI and other over the past few weeks.

Posted by
4128 posts

And as been mentioned many times on this Forum, but I keep reminding myself, permitting someone to depart one’s country doesn’t mean that other countries will welcome them. So destinations’ dates, and which destination, will need to be observed.

Posted by
1796 posts

Watching the BBC news now and they are reiterating what the acraven wrote. Yes James!

Posted by
176 posts

I’m not normally one to point out typos, but in this case it is material...the references to June 12 should be June 21. When every day of lockdown feels like it lasts a year, those nine days really make a difference :)

Posted by
6051 posts

To ensure clarity and reiterate, the phrase to highlight in the government statement is “ not before” in relation to the dates given. Even if by some miracle things get much better in a much shorter time scale the restrictions won’t be lifted any earlier. These stated dates are the earliest these restrictions will change as long as 4 tests are met, relating to vaccination and infection rates and an absence of new variants impacting on the risk of infections. If the situation doesn’t improve fast enough, or, gets worse, the dates will be moved back.

Posted by
617 posts

Emma is being too kind and polite. Sadly this thread needs a bit of American bluntness.

‘NOT BEFORE’ does NOT Equal ‘ON’.

The ‘not before’ dates mean it will NOT happen before those dates based upon current knowledge, data, trends, etc. Those are planning dates based upon everything going according to the plan. But we all know plans never fail or are ever subject to change (LOL).

It is fantastic that they are putting out the road map as to reopening plans and dates. But before you rush out and buy a plane ticket you need to understand planned/anticipated dates are subject to change at anytime.

Posted by
17868 posts

Thank you, Margaret. I'll go back and correct the "June 12" to "June 21".

I hope folks can check their natural optimism at the door and understand that "not before" does, in fact, mean "not before".

Posted by
6974 posts

“Every plan is a good one - until the first shot is fired.”
Carl von Clausewitz

A rephrasing could be 'Every plan is a good one -- until it encounters reality ( which is ever changing)'

Making travel plans based on the 'outline', is done at your own peril

Posted by
12116 posts

What is interesting is the England has chosen to publish dates and not criteria. May 15th vs when hospital admissions drop to less than 5 a day. The dates dont inspire compliance. A common goal might. Oh well....

Posted by
9069 posts

I wonder if they should really add the pharase......"as of today." So and so won't open until June...as of today. We won't be able to eat ice cream until May...as of today.

Just remember.......none of this is written in stone. It could be later but it could also be earlier. This is why I just wait until places let me know the welcome mat is being put out.

This opinion piece from the Yorkshire Evening Post sums up my thoughts on predictions and those who make them.

https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/opinion/columnists/opinion-making-predictions-2021-frankly-foolish-blaise-tapp-3077115

Posted by
122 posts

Just admit you want crowds at SW19. This is a nice little outline I wish we had something similar in the US, I'm just glad we are fortunate enough to live in such a diverse country where we can experience so much without having to enter another country. I can't imagine being locked down anywhere else. I have enough domestic trips for next 15 months so no rush to leave, BUT I am checking ticket prices to London this summer. .

Posted by
24 posts

"And as been mentioned many times on this Forum, but I keep reminding myself, permitting someone to depart one’s country doesn’t mean that other countries will welcome them. So destinations’ dates, and which destination, will need to be observed."

======

I suspect the 'traditional' destinations that depend o tourism such as Greece, Spain and Croatia et al will have something in place to welcome UK holiday makers.

Posted by
24 posts

Something that has been missed, is there will be a review to opening international travel before the May date.

The global travel taskforce would put forward a report on how to return to international travel on 12 April. The government would then make a decision on removing restrictions on international travel. However this would not happen until 17 May at the earliest.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56161129

The issue the Government has got, it is sitting on a pressure cooker of which it has cracked the seal of.

Posted by
265 posts

"What is interesting is the England has chosen to publish dates and not criteria."

This is causing some frustration among some areas (epidemiology experts etc) because it is all too non specific.
If it was firm - we will do this when: "R number = <0.1" or 7 day average hospital admissions fall to below X for a period of at least Y days.

I suppose, ultimately these are politicians, and they don't want to be restricted by measurable targets.

Posted by
17868 posts

The "international travel" referred to in these articles is outbound from the UK. It doesn't have anything to do with letting others into the UK for vacations.

Posted by
24 posts

"The "international travel" referred to in these articles is outbound from the UK. It doesn't have anything to do with letting others into the UK for vacations."

=======

Its suitably vague to mean whatever 'they' want it to mean come the May 17th or June 21st. Furthermore, I would imagine certain countries insisting on reciprocal arrangments to allow UK nationals to travel.

Posted by
4601 posts

The UK is doing very well with vaccinations, hopefully, it will be open to Americans to tour by Summer. The EU isn't doing as well with vaccinations. We have a trip to Italy planned for October, but I read today that some predict Italy might not be fully vaccinated for two years.

Posted by
24616 posts

The path out of UK domestic restrictions does not necessarily equate with opening for tourists.

I hear your hope - I'm not convinced that reality will fulfil the hope though

Posted by
9069 posts

Didn't Boris say that 21 June everything is expected to be open? (Yes, I realize this date can change.) With some restrictions--like negative tests, proof of vaccines--it's feasable they might start letting people in. It's not guaranteed, but it's feasable.

Posted by
2603 posts

All the dates are for the citizens of England. It doesn’t mean that after June 21st, they are going to allow US citizens to come for vacations.

Posted by
388 posts

Indoor dinning is classed as indoor hospitality so that's in the not earlier than May 17th list. The Prime Minister made clear that we are not trying to eliminate COVID, but with a highly vaccinated population we will learn to live with it, and accept the deaths that will sadly still occur as we do for seasonal flu. So the biggest influence on whether US folk will be allowed in for tourism will be how well your vaccine programme goes, and it seems to be going pretty good, certainly better than Europe. Whilst they keep saying they are not looking at vaccine passports, airlines might become the arbitrators of that. Expect to have to produce a negative test result before departure for some time still to come. That said, we are highly nervous about variants - the so called UK variant has gone rife around the world and yet who has been travelling internationally in the last few months? The Brazil variant has been detected in a handful of cases in the UK but they lost the contact data of one of the positive cases and now mild panic has broken out.

Posted by
24 posts

Its being reported on the news today, that Johnson has said England is willing to host extra matches in the delayed 2020 Euros. That is a sure sign that consideration is being given to some relaxation to Covid border controls.

Posted by
24616 posts

probably only for the "elite" athletes

Posted by
24 posts

probably only for the "elite" athletes <<<

======

No!

It mentioned (some) spectators being present at matches and that would be a prequisite from UEFA.

A phased return to spectators at domestic games could start as early as late April.

Posted by
388 posts

Don't think they have to be international spectators though - I thought it would just be British spectators. Feels too close to the 21st June to be selling tickets to overseas fans.