Newly Single Ant Anstead 'Devastated' to Cancel Christmas Visit to Kids in U.K. Due to Lockdown
A source confirms to PEOPLE that the newly single Wheelers Dealers star, 41, can no longer fly to the U.K. to spend Christmas and New Years with his two kids from his previous marriage — daughter Amelie, 17, and son Archie, 14 — because of England's "Tier 4" restrictions, which were put into effect on Sunday and bans travel into the country. Ant's son Hudson, 1, will spend the holiday with his mom, Ant's ex, Christina Anstead.
"He is devastated to learn that he cannot travel back to the U.K.," the source says. "He doesn’t know what his Christmas plans will be here in the states just yet."
"Brutal!!!!! 💔," he wrote back.
On Sunday, some areas of the U.K. entered "tier 4," it's most restrictive COVID-19 lockdown, over concern of a fast-spreading variant of the virus. According to guidelines from the U.K. Department of Health and Social Care, tier 4 bans meeting with anyone outside your household or support bubble, or leaving your home unless you have "a reasonable excuse." As of Monday afternoon, the U.S. had not banned travel from the U.K., as more than 40 other countries have already done, according to Forbes. The CDC continues to have a level 3 ("reconsider travel") health notice in place for Americans traveling to the U.K.
Amelie and Archie have continued to live in England with their mom, Ant’s first wife, Louise Herbert, since Ant moved to California to film his latest show in 2017. The kids frequently made trips to the U.S. to visit him before coronavirus-related travel restrictions kicked in last spring.
"Unfortunately, Amelie and Archie don't have any residential status, so they're not actually allowed to enter the U.S.,” Ant told PEOPLE last week while discussing his holiday plans before the change in regulations. He said he video chats them every day, but it’s “incredibly frustrating” that he can't see them in person easily.
Ant last paid his older children a visit in the summer in order to celebrate Archie's 14th birthday and Amelie's high school graduation. He shared a series of family photos on social media at the time, writing that "every single" second of his required two-week quarantine was worth it.
In September, Ant and Christina announced their split via an Instagram post after less than two years of marriage.
"Ant and I have made the difficult decision to separate. We are grateful for each other and as always, our children will remain our priority," Christina wrote. "We appreciate your support and ask for privacy for us and our family as we navigate the future."
The former couple married at their home in Newport Beach, California, in December 2018 and welcomed Hudson in September 2019. PEOPLE reported that she officially filed for divorce in early November and for joint physical and legal custody of Hudson a few weeks later. Neither star is requesting spousal support.
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