Travel: Simon Calder says new quarantine rules ‘ludicrous’
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Due to concerns over the Beta variant, some EU countries like France, Germany or Portugal, still have strict measures in place for UK arrivals. The last ones to join are Italy and Greece, which have recently imposed tougher entry rules for Britons.
Many European countries have mandatory quarantine for UK arrivals, being Madeira, Greece, Spain and Malta the only restriction-free holiday destinations.
However, now Greece has increased its safety measures and Italy has extended its quarantine rule for UK arrivals.
A Briton who went on a trip last week said “it is still a nightmare to go on holidays around Europe.”
He explained that being vaccinated might be useful when coming back to the UK, but doesn’t avoid all the inconvenience when entering another country.
“I’m double-vaccinated and it was so troublesome getting there.
“There are a lot of hurdles you need to jump through even if you are double-jabbed,” he said.
“Most countries ask for PCR test or proof of vaccination and a passenger locator form, which in some countries like Greece has to be completed the day before flying.
“On the website, it isn’t clearly stated which one has to be done the day before and we weren’t allowed to board the plane simply because the form was completed a few hours after midnight.”
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He continued: “We actually had to wait one more day and pay extra PCR tests for the whole family as the ones from the previous day weren’t valid anymore.
“Booking PCR tests is also an additional cost.
“All in all, it was so hard getting there,” he explained.
“The rules when entering EU countries are so strict, we couldn’t even get out of the UK.
“Going on holiday to amber countries is not the easiest,” the holidaymaker warned.
“On the UK side everything is quite easy in comparison to getting there.”
Earlier this week, Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, announced fully-vaccinated EU travellers are allowed to skip quarantine when entering the UK.
However, the rules with Europe are no reciprocal at the moment.
“It doesn’t matter about what we do really, if a EU country doesn’t want to let vaccinated British people without restrictions, they won’t let you in.”
When asked if he would go on holiday to an amber country again in the near future he said “never again.”
“And not until the rules are simpler. At the current time, no.”
“I think countries might be genuinely worried about the Beta variant but I also think they just don’t want British people to go,” he concluded.
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