Expats Spain: UK accepting EU vaccine will have ‘big impact’ | Travel News | To travel
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that fully stung travelers from Amber countries will not have to self-quarantine upon arrival in the UK from August 2.
Until now, the UK only allowed people whose vaccines were administered by the NHS to skip quarantine.
This was a major problem for British expats living abroad who had been vaccinated in other countries.
Nigel Ayres, who runs Expat Network and currently lives in Spain, said it had been almost “impossible” for him to return to the UK during this time.
Like most expatriates living in the Mediterranean country, he had his vaccine administered by the Spanish health system, which until today was not recognized by the United Kingdom.
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This meant that although he was fully vaccinated, he would have to self-quarantine if he returned to his own country, which he couldn’t afford to do.
“I have not been able to visit the UK since February 2020 due to travel restrictions.
“I had not seen our daughter who has been living in London since then until we could make arrangements to meet her in Portugal during the brief period of May when the government put Portugal on the green list,” he said. he declared.
“I also couldn’t see my 88-year-old mother, nor our friends and family.
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“UK testing and quarantine requirements made it very expensive to return to the UK. Not just the cost of the tests, but also the cost of having to rent somewhere for 10 days to go through the quarantine, ”explained Nigel.
“The constantly changing rules made planning impossible. “
He continued: ‘We are both doubly vaccinated here in Spain, but the rules did not allow you to travel without quarantine unless you were doubly vaccinated in the UK.
“Now we are currently planning to return to the UK in August.”
He explained: “The government must recognize the impact on people as well as on businesses that their travel policies have.”
Nigel said the UK accepting people who have been doubly vaccinated in the EU is a big step, but the rules should continue to ease.
“Of course, continue to demand testing, but why demand that people who have been vaccinated bear the expense and enormous inconvenience of having to quarantine for 10 days,” he said.
Spain is currently on the orange list, which means Britons not fully vaccinated must still be quarantined for 10 days upon their return.
The Skyscanner travel website commented on the news.
Consumer travel expert Laura Lindsay said: “Many travelers in Europe are in desperate need of a trip to the UK, as a country they love to visit for leisure as well as to see loved ones.
“There is a strong pent-up demand for UK travel to Europe. For example, the UK is the third most searched country and London the 12th most searched city by Spanish travelers in the past month.
“We believe that any changes to travel rules and restrictions must be proportionate, sustainable and communicated unambiguously and on time to travelers and the travel industry.”