Joined-up travel thinking

By | Category: Travel rumblings

We are accustomed to trying to find out what the rules are in travelling to another country and then seeing whether we can or cannot travel based on UK FCDO advice but things got pretty silly this week.

cartoon of a traveller
is it too much to ask for joined-up decision making? © Dan Sperrin

Both Bulgaria and Croatia were placed on the green list although Croatia’s place on it is on the green watch section meaning it could be moved at short notice.

But if you looked at the FCDO list of where it advises us on where and where not to travel, both Bulgaria and Croatia were “don’t travel unless essential” destinations.

A few paragraphs below the “don’t travel” advice on the FCDO travel advice website was the news that we can travel to both because they are on the green list and we don’t have to self-isolate on our return from either.

It took from Wednesday afternoon until Friday morning for the advice to alter. It then became that we were not now advised to visit Bulgaria and Croatia.

Why did it take over 36 hours to harmonise?

As I wrote on Thursday, it is about time we had some joined-up decision making within the FCDO or government on what we can or cannot do.

Why is it so important for clarity?

Because, as readers know, if the FCDO says “don’t travel,” travel insurers say that policies are invalid if you travel to a destination that that the FCDO advises against.

Whilst the FCDO or the transport ministry or whichever body is responsible for the confusion sorts itself out, the best thing would be for Bulgaria and Croatia to issue short-term, visitor paid-for travel insurance policies guaranteeing the same or similar benefits to usual travel insurance policies. That would at least curb doubts in the mind of potential visitors from the UK and encourage us to book.

But more importantly, the British government has to resolve the mess that seems to exist between the Department for Transport and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on who has the final say on where we can travel. And they should both co-ordinate things before an announcement is made.

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