National lockdown: Thousands of Brits fly abroad for final getaway before month-long travel ban from Thursday

THOUSANDS of Brit holidaymakers have fled the country for a final getaway before a month-long travel ban kicks in on Thursday.

Heathrow Airport was packed this morning after Boris Johnson's announcement of a second national lockdown – with all outbound international travel forbidden under the strict new rules.

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As part of the new restrictions, Brits must not travel in the UK and overnight stays outside the home will be discouraged – unless they are for work reasons.

But the travel ban has thrown thousands of Winter holidays into chaos – with holiday firms unlikely to refund customers for trips unless advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) changes.

The announcement sent Brits scrambling to leave the country for one final getaway this morning.

Pictures show Heathrow Terminal 5 heaving with people heading out of the country.

The ban also marks the second time the government has advised against international travel this year – after the Foreign Office urged Brits not to leave the country in March.

It comes as a severe blow to the beleaguered travel industry as the pandemic continues to ground flights across the world.

Earlier this week, The Sun reported how both EasyJet and Heathrow airport had made layoffs as the industry struggles to recover from a second wave of infections.

Package holidays are supposed to refund customers if you're unable to travel due to the lockdown, according to ABTA.

But some holiday firms have previously refused to refund customers where flights to destinations still go ahead.

It is unclear whether travel corridors will continue to exist after the ban.

Boris Johnson's announcement comes as cases in the UK passed the grim milestone of 1 million yesterday.

The lockdown is set to last until December 2 in an attempt to save the nation's Christmas.

And the rules will only apply to England – with Scotland and Wales insisting they will apply their own regulations.

It comes after No 10 was given a chilling report claiming deaths from the virus could peak just before Christmas, with a "massive spike" on Christmas Eve.

And government medics warned some hospitals may not even have enough staff to cope with the extra patients on top of the normal winter strains on the NHS.

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