Regional restrictions

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The travel industry has urged governments to support regional no-go areas rather than blocking off whole countries.

Berlin Reichstag
the Reichstag in Berlin. It looks as though I can’t visit it but if I lived ten miles away I could

This thinking grew in intensity after the UK blocked the whole of Portugal rather than the regions where the pandemic was strongest. So the Algarve, the Azores and Madeira suffered from not having British tourists despite having a low incidence. The same happened in Spain where the Canaries and the Balearics had few cases compared to the mainland.

Now countries are opting for more regional targeting so Britons can now travel to Madeira for example.

But is this system any fairer?

My answer would be no and for examples I give you the current thinking by Belgium and Germany, two countries that would normally see millions of British travellers each year.

If you go to the Belgian website you will see that they list the following areas of the UK where there are more concerns. These areas are “North West England, West Central Scotland, North-East England, Yorkshire and Humber, West Midlands, West Wales and the Valleys, Southern Scotland, Northern Ireland.” But it doesn’t include South East Wales where the current – at time of writing – hotspots are. In fact West Wales ie Pembrokeshire has the lowest rate in Wales.

If I went to Belgium and said I was from Pembrokeshire it seems I would have to have taken a PCR test and I would also have to quarantine but I wouldn’t if I journeyed from Newport or the Vale of Glamorgan where the incidences are higher!

This confusion is not something to make a traveller from the UK undertake a trip to Belgium with any confidence.

Germany excludes all of Scotland and Wales with no regions broken out whereas in England they do identify individual regions. Again, West Wales is having a dusting of cases as is the Highlands of Scotland. Germany allows residents from the east and West Midlands despite higher cases there than in some other English regions.

Life seems to be more confusing; confusing to the point where you feel it isn’t worth travelling to somewhere that makes travel so difficult.

What it tells others with more patience than me is before you travel check very thoroughly the countries and the regional government websites where you going because the regulations do vary and although you think you might be coming from one of hardly affected regions, your destination might think otherwise.

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