Travel stocks hit as Brits face £5,000 fine for travelling abroad

Saleha Riaz
·2-min read

Watch: Travel shares slide on fears of another lost summer for foreign holidays

Anyone who leaves England to travel outside the country without a reasonable excuse could be hit with a £5,000 fine, as per new coronavirus laws that could be introduced next week and last until the end of June.

Shares of British Airways parent IAG (IAG.L), InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG.L), hospitality company Whitbread (WTB.L) and jet maker Rolls Royce (RR.L) were among the FTSE 100’s (^FTSE)'s top fallers Tuesday morning amid the news that is sure to put a damper on summer holiday plans.

The government has made it very clear that under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, everyone must stay at home and should not travel unless they have a legally permitted reason to do so, which includes work, medical or compassionate grounds and attending weddings and funerals. In England, they must also complete a declaration form when leaving the country.

Prime minister Boris Johnson had set out his long-awaited "roadmap" out of lockdown earlier. Included in his four-step plan was to allow international travel potentially by 17 May, although not any earlier, and subject to review.

Johnson said that restrictions on international leisure travel will only be eased after a review in April, led by transport secretary Grant Shapps. Sources have told the Times that the ban on holidays until June 30 does not pre-empt the review.

MPs will vote on new coronavirus laws on Thursday and, if approved, they would come into force on 29 March. Photo: Getty Images
MPs will vote on new coronavirus laws on Thursday and, if approved, they would come into force on 29 March. Photo: Getty Images

However, over the weekend Johnson said warned that the UK could soon be hit by a third wave of coronavirus infections similar to that currently being experienced by other European countries.

The new rules will also mean protests will be considered a permitted exception to the ban on mass gatherings.

MPs will vote on the laws on 25 March and, if approved, they would come into on 29 March.

IAG was down 2.4% while Rolls Royce and IHG were down almost 2%. Whitbread ticked 1% lower.

Budget airline EasyJet (EZJ.L) lost 3.5%, while rival Ryanair (RYA.L) fell 2.3% and Wizz Air (WIZZ.L) was down 1.5%.

Travel and tourism company TUI (TUI.L) lost 3%. Cruise-ship operator Carnival (CCL.L) was down almost 4%.

Meanwhile almost 28 million people in the country have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine as ministers hope of easing a third national lockdown on vaccinating as many adults as possible by summer.

Watch: Boris Johnson says the UK will 'feel effects' of a third wave