Travel: O'Leary calls for co-operation between UK and EU
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Due to concerns about the Delta variant, some EU countries like France, Germany, Portugal or Italy, have tightened entry restrictions on UK tourists, imposing mandatory quarantine for non-vaccinated Britons.
Some other nations like the Balearic Islands in Spain, are also urging Governments to impose tougher entry requirements for Britons going there on holiday.
Italy changed its rules last week without warning, introducing a mandatory five-day quarantine for all UK visitors.
A Briton who had a holiday booked in the country said it is “literally a nightmare” to go on holiday from the UK this summer.
“We had a trip booked to Italy and with the changes in the restrictions last week, we were forced to change our holiday completely.
“We lost a lot of money,” he admitted.
“As we didn’t book directly with the airline, our travel agent charged us enormous fees to change the destination of our flights and didn’t allow us to get a refund.
“We have now rebooked flights for a destination that hasn’t imposed mandatory quarantine for Britons yet, which is Greece, but those ‘quarantine-free’ countries are now way more expensive,” he explained.
“It has literally been a nightmare trying to organise a holiday out of the UK this summer.”
When booking a holiday, now Britons have to take into consideration not only the UK’s traffic light system in case they have to self-isolate on their return, but also if the destination has imposed mandatory quarantine or has shut its borders to UK tourists completely.
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The holidaymaker continued: “The UK is in a tough situation right now. It is almost impossible to go on holiday from the UK.
“This summer is way worse than last summer in terms of being able to enter other countries.”
Italy is also on the UK’s amber travel list, meaning a mandatory at home quarantine is required upon return.
The holidaymaker explained that hotel owners in Italy seem “desperate” for Britons to go there, as some advised him to go anyway and suggested he could skip the quarantine.
“I was told by our hotel owner that these restrictions are propaganda more than anything else.
“They said that in Italy there are tourists from all over the world and it would be impossible to control them all.
“The hotel advised me to keep my booking and head there anyway as they wouldn’t check on us following the quarantine,” he explained.
“I think we need to have a clear understanding of what everything is going to be open by when.
“Obviously it’s hard to judge but we need some kind of clear indications, both from the UK and the EU side, so we know where to book our next holiday without being afraid restrictions might change in two days,” he said.
Although the majority of countries are following German and France suit and imposing stricter entry requirement for UK arrivals, other countries like Greece have refused to follow the EU’s steps.
Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis slammed the potential ban and rejected calls from Angela Merkel for British tourists to be quarantined on arrival.
“My personal assessment is that there is no need to impose additional restrictions on travel from countries where this mutation already exists.
“At the end that is up to the individual member states to take those decisions,” he said.
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