Restrictions tighten

By | Category: Travel rumblings

The announcement of a four week delay for unlocking restrictions in England comes at the same time as the Netherlands moves the UK onto the highest risk alert, the only European country to be placed in this category and Gibraltar tightens the rules on British entry to the Rock.

Utrecht – walking and snacking alongside the canals is pleasant in summer. If only we could easily get to the Netherlands!

They are salutary reminders that there is a way to go out before normality returns.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have yet to announce any further relaxations and there is a chance that wearing masks in indoors will remain as will social distancing. Some people are saying that even if restrictions are lifted they will return to wearing masks in winter – the saeson with the highest risk for spread.

That the Dutch have moved the UK to a “very high risk” destination status could mean that some other EU countries will follow suit as the fear of a spreading delta variant continues.  

Politicians in France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Malta, Cyprus and Greece for example, may be weighing up the health implications of having Britons travel there against the economic impact of Britons not coming.

Gibraltar – on the UK green list – has also tightened up entry requirements by Britons. Now everyone over the age of 11 arriving by air and who hasn’t had both jabs must now provide a negative COVID test taken 48 hours before arrival. The test can be PCR, LAMP or lateral flow (LFT), but Gibraltar is warning that not all lateral flow tests meet Gibraltarian standards.

In addition, all (even those vaccinated) must also take a pre-booked lateral flow test within 24 hours of arrival and, anyone staying longer than seven days must also take a second LFT on day five.

The delta variant is the cause for countries assessing their entry requirements. Leaping through society at a faster rate than anything so far, those countries where vaccinations are low in comparison with the UK are concerned about the transmission rate that might hit them if they let in Britons not having had two jabs.

Booking any overseas holiday which would take place in the next month or two could be a real risk. And booking a holiday in August could still be problematical.

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