Dreaming of travel

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

As more and more countries get spooked by the new variant of the virus, about a quarter of the world has closed its doors to British based travellers.

Do I fancy being miles from everyone for safety or will I want to meet other humans when I eventually holiday?

Was it only a week that I was writing of difficulties in getting to Spain for Christmas? It seems a different world now.

Those that do allow entry are opting for some sort of test in advance and, more often than not, that is the lengthier PCR test.

Like the UK many are concerned about the growing and fast spread of the virus just as vaccinations are ramped up. So they are introducing strict measures.

Looking at our closest neighbours, Ireland has imposed a ban on those living in the UK going to Ireland until the end of the year. If I do go, I must have had a test that proved negative and even though its negative, I must self-isolate for fourteen days and that means not even leaving my hotel room.

For Irish residents there is no travel between counties and a level five tier will be in place from Christmas Eve until January 12th.

In France, hauliers, EU citizens and Britons living in France can start returning to France today providing they have a negative PCR or antigen test result. That an antigen test is being accepted is significant as that test takes a much shorter time to analyse. But the French government has added a rider to this agreement. The tests should be able to detect the new variant.

In Belgium, the rules are similar to France but re-uniting families is allowed at present. But from Christmas Day a negative PCR test is required for non-Belgian residents even if you are Belgian

The EU which I have roundly criticised for being on the back foot compared to member states during this pandemic has said that the UK is still part of the EU until 31st of December and therefore, “… free movement rules still apply to the UK. This means that member states should not in principle refuse the entry of persons travelling from the UK.” Only the Netherlands has seemed to follow this guidance so far but has also insisted on a negative test result.

Spain and Portugal have both effectively placed a ban on British residents. In the case of Spain it is until January 5th and that includes the Balearics and the Canaries and the Portuguese ban has no end date that has been announced.

So even if I could get abroad, where could I go?

It has made the desire for travel a little more nagging since Christmas and New Year travel has disappeared.

Easter looks to be the earliest although I have high hopes of domestic short break in early March, But then I hope the lockdowns and those that are rumoured to start after Christmas have been lifted.

But when I get to travel again, do I want to mix with other people again or would I prefer to takinga walking break and stay away from people? I don’t think I’ll decide until closer to the time.

If travel restrictions are removed for Easter it might be hard not to bump into an escaping Brit wherever you go in the world!

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