Lytham St.Anne’s residents, along with others living in England, will face a massive £5,000 fine for going on a foreign holiday without good reason under new coronavirus laws to come into force from next Monday 29th March. MPs will vote on the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 this coming Thursday 25th March.
However, plans to fine people for leaving the UK without good reason will include a BIG ‘loophole’ for those who state that they are preparing their second home for sale or rent. This has been branded ‘the Stanley Johnson clause’, after Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley, apparently and allegedly breached Covid-19 guidelines by travelling to his Greek villa last Summer. His holiday home (pictured below), named Villa Irene, is available for rent for £2,100 a week in high season. When challenged, Eighty year old Johnson Snr said he was visiting his Villa to make it ‘Covid-proof’. He was ‘caught out’ after posting a picture on social media of himself arriving at Athens airport. He had flown to Athens via Sofia, Bulgaria, seemingly to circumvent the then Greek government rules against direct flights from the UK. He later told reporters that he was visiting on ‘essential business’ before the letting season.
The exemption in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021 allows people to travel abroad ‘in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property’. Those activities include visiting an estate agent, developer sales office or show home, viewing residential properties to rent or buy, and preparing a property for moving in.
Other exemptions include participating in an elite sporting event – so footballers and other athletes will be able to travel abroad to compete.