What is non-essential travel? – The Sun03/17/2020
The phrase "non-essential travel" has been severally used in efforts to battle the spread of the virus – but what does it actually mean?
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What is non-essential travel?
There is a grey area concerning the definition of non-essential travel.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not lay out exactly what the phrase means.
Instead, FCO says: "Whether travel is essential or not is your own decision. You may have urgent family or business commitments to attend to. Circumstances differ from person to person."
In its travel advice guidance, the FCO goes on to say only an individual can make the decision as to whether travel is essential.
In other words, it is up to a person to determine whether travel is important enough to override travel advice.
Has the UK banned non-essential travel?
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has warned Brits not to travel abroad unless essential.
He said: "With immediate effect I’ve taken the decision to advise British nationals against non essential travel globally, for an initial period of 30 days and of course subject to ongoing review."
"UK travellers abroad now face widespread international border restrictions and lock downs in various countries.
"The speed and range of those measures across other countries is unprecedented."
Is the EU considering banning non-essential travel?
Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European commission is expected to launch the ban on foreign travel into the whole European Union.
This is in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which has affected nearly 54,500 people in Europe and resulted in thousands of fatalities.
Italy is the most affected nation in the EU with 24,747 cases and 1,809 deaths recorded.
Speaking of the measure, EU commission president said: "The less travel, the more we can contain the virus. Therefore, as I have just informed our G7 partners, I propose to introduce temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU."
There has been more than 175,769 cases worldwide.
77,000 people have been confirmed to have recovered , however, more than 6,700 people have died.
Travel has dramatically decreased as several countries in the European Union impose travel restrictions in an effort to contain the spread of the deadly bug.
EU countries including Italy, Spain, France and Ireland have all been put on lockdown as the disease rips through the continent.
What does it mean if I have travel plans to Europe?
The ban means there will be a restriction to all travel into countries in the EU.
While Brits are unlikely to be affected by this, as the EU commission chief confirmed that "UK citizens are European citizens," the non-essential travel ban from the UK will mean travelling to Europe is advised against.
Going against the advice can result in invalidated travel insurance and being left stranded in a foreign country – here is what to know if you have a holiday booked.
How long will the ban be in place?
According to the EU Commission president, the EU ban will be temporary with an initial period of 30 days.
The UK ban will also be 30 days – both of these periods can be prolonged if it is deemed necessary.
Ursula von der Leyen said: "We have to take exceptional measures to protect the health of our citizens. But let's make sure goods and essential services continue to flow in our internal market.
"This is the only way to prevent shortages of medical equipment or food."
Here is everything you need to know about travelling abroad following the UK advice.
We've rounded up all of the travel advice for each country due to coronavirus.
Here is also everything to know about the EU ban.
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