Legal permission required to leave England?

Crime Observations

From 8th March 2021, passengers travelling from England to destinations outside the UK have been required to complete a “Travel Declaration Form” to confirm you are “legally allowed to travel abroad”.

During the current lockdown, its kind of understandable really.

You may be asked to show this declaration form at the port of departure. You may carry evidence to support your reason for travel.

Entering a port of departure to travel internationally without a completed form is a criminal offence, for which you could be fined.

If you try to travel abroad without a legally permitted reason, you may also be fined for breaching the stay at home requirements.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-declaration-form-for-international-travel

By port of departure this will seemingly refer to any airport, ferry terminal, shipping port or even the Eurostar terminal.

There are exceptions to this requirement however for people who work in specific types of jobs. But essentially it means that most people are not legally permitted to leave England. (There are different rules apparently for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, but why?)

What I found most interesting though is the following (my emphasis in bold):

Whilst the stay at home restrictions are in place, you are only allowed to travel abroad if you have a legally permitted reason.

It is illegal to leave home without a reasonable excuse. This means that, whilst stay at home restrictions apply, it is illegal to travel abroad for holidays.

Even once the stay at home requirement ends on 29 March 2021, it will remain unlawful to leave the UK unless you have a reasonable excuse, permitted by law.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-declaration-form-for-international-travel

The ‘stay at home’ requirement ends on 29th March, but this is just an ‘easing’ of the current lockdown after all, and things aren’t going to go ‘back to normal’ any time soon, so no swanning off to Spain on holiday just yet.

I guess the question here is “when WILL it be lawful to leave the UK?” I’m guessing this Travel Declaration Form will be another one of these things introduced as a ‘temporary measure’ that somehow end up becoming a permanent fixture.

“Got permission to go on holiday?”

Meanwhile of course while it is a criminal offence for UK citizens to actually leave the UK (unless exempt of course), we still have hundreds of ‘migrants’ entering the country illegally every week, and being welcomed with open arms, put up in hotels, and yes, getting a Covid ‘jab’.

Is it just me or is this all back-to-front?

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