Today’s a big day

By | Category: Travel news

From today, non-essential travel from Northern Ireland to other parts of the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man) is allowed.

Frankfurt Roman Square. From today, if you travel to Germany you face 14 day’s quarantine in the country

Northern Ireland is the last area in the UK to relax travel restrictions with the stay local policy only now being lifted. That has been in place for a longer period than in any other of the home nations..

They have also followed other UK nations by adopting a traffic light system for foreign travel and, like the other home nations, there will just be a few destinations on the green list. The list of countries is identical to the one issued by the Westminster government.

Those travelling to countries on the green list will still be required to take PCR tests before returning home. Visitor and cultural attractions including museums, galleries and amusement arcades can also open indoors as from today.

But Scotland has clamped down by telling those living in Scotland that they should not travel to hotspots in England specifically named as Bedford, Blackburn, Bolton and Darwen. The advice isn’t legally enforceable, it is merely advice.

From today, Spain has announced overseas visitors for the UK can visit its shores. But since Spain is on the amber list, only people who can afford the time to self-isolate on their return for ten days will be able to holiday there. You don’t even require a PCR test to travel there. But you do need one to return home. And with a greater number of people knocking on doors to see that the self-isolation rules are followed, how many people will be willing to risk the penalties?

Germany on the other hand has announced that from today all British visitors will have to quarantine in the country for fourteen days due to concern about the spread of the Indian variant within the UK. It means that travellers to Germany – which is still on the amber list – will have to spend twice as much time in quarantine as they spend on a two week holiday in the country!

In a week’s time, if you are travelling through Heathrow you won’t mix with those people arriving from red list countries. All those passengers will emerge via terminal three and no flights to/from green or amber list countries will be able to meet them. Why it has taken so long to institute such a seemingly obvious system will be something that will be asked in the weeks to come. How are other airports that also see red, amber and green list passengers mixing resolved their problems?

To top off a strange week in travel news, the head of WHO in Europe, Dr Hans Kluge, said that we should rethink or avoid international travel.

Whilst many of us would like to travel, the constraints are probably making more than a few of us wonder whether it would be better to forget about an overseas summer holiday. 

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