Residents of areas that are designated “tier 3” at the end of England’s lockdown have been told they will be able to travel abroad from 2 December.
On Monday 23 November, the government published its plans for the coming winter – which included the options for people wishing to travel abroad.
At present, no one in England can travel domestically or abroad for leisure.
From one minute past midnight on 2 December, people living in tiers 1 and 2 have been told they are able to take holidays.
But for residents of tier 3 areas, the government says: “Avoid travelling out of the area, other than where necessary such as for work, education, youth services, medical attention or because of caring responsibilities.”
Before the second lockdown, many parts of northern England and the Midlands were placed in the tier with the toughest rules. The government has indicated that more locations will be placed in tier 3 once England’s lockdown ends.
No 10 indicated that the instruction to “avoid travelling out of the area” was law, rather than merely guidance.
But on Tuesday morning, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said tier 3 residents would be able to go abroad.
Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme, he said holidays would be allowed abroad – “if you’re going straight to an airport”.
The chief executive of Heathrow airport said: “Clearly if we have the prime minister and Grant Shapps having different messages, they need to give clarity.
“If people from tier 3 can travel, that will be fantastic.
“We need to get the UK economy back to normal as quickly as possible, and that includes allowing people to fly.”