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World The holiday makers having to self-isolate abroad

03:11  24 july  2021
03:11  24 july  2021 Source:   bbc.com

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  Travelers fume at UK move to keep restrictions on France LONDON (AP) — Tourists and the travel industry vented frustration and anger on Saturday after Britain reversed a plan to ease travel restrictions on France just two days after they were due to start, citing concerns about a variant of the coronavirus. In an announcement late Friday, the U.K. government said people arriving from France must self-isolate for 10 days on entering Britain, even if they are fully vaccinated. The announcement came just days after the government said fully vaccinated U.K. residents will no longer face quarantine starting Monday, July 19, 2021 when arriving from European Union nations and dozens of other countries.

'The price of holidays in the UK has sky-rocketed'. Samantha is currently on the seventh day of quarantining with her friend Charlotte in Majorca in the Balearic Islands. "My sinus felt a little bunged up, but I just put it down to the flight and pressure that I usually get after flying," she says. The tour operator and the hotel recommended speaking to the Spanish Health Authorities, who told the two friends to take a PCR test and isolate where they were for 10 days. "I haven't felt ill as such, and even though we are stuck in our hotel room, we have tried to make the most of what we have ," she says.

From 10 July 2020 you will be able to travel to many countries without having to self - isolate on return to England. Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation. Whether you are a holidaymaker ready to travel abroad or a business eager to open your doors again, this is good news for British people and great news for British businesses. The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watch word and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with.

In early July, university student Aimee flew out to Zakynthos, Greece. More than a week into her trip, the tour operator she was travelling with said that there had been a few cases of coronavirus and asked everyone to take a test. Aimee's came back positive.

a person standing on a beach © Getty Images

"I was sharing with a roommate, but the operator moved them out so I could isolate," She tells the BBC. Aimee is now on the fifth day of her self-isolation at the resort in Zakynthos.

"My friends have been bringing me food and dropping it at the door. I've got a balcony, but I'm still going a bit crazy in the room."

Aimee says she couldn't find any information for a while about what protocols she was meant to follow, but she is paying for tests every three days. Fortunately, her hotel room was already paid for until the end of the month.

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Self - isolate immediately if: you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste). you've been told you've been in contact with someone who tested positive – find out what to do if you're told to self - isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app. you have arrived in England from abroad from a 'red list' country, or from an 'amber list' country and not been fully vaccinated – see GOV.UK: how to quarantine when you arrive in England.

Most people returning to the UK must self - isolate or quarantine for 10 days, depending on the country they've travelled from. This could include returning from abroad after: a holiday . Employees and workers are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they're self - isolating after travel abroad and cannot work from home. But an employer can choose to pay them sick pay – at the same rate as SSP or a higher rate – if they want to. Someone may be entitled to SSP for another reason, for example if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

"I knew it was a risk going on holiday, but it was one I was willing to take," she says.

'The price of holidays in the UK has sky-rocketed'

Samantha is currently on the seventh day of quarantining with her friend Charlotte in Majorca in the Balearic Islands.

"My sinus felt a little bunged up, but I just put it down to the flight and pressure that I usually get after flying," she says.

  The holiday makers having to self-isolate abroad © Getty Images

She took an NHS lateral flow test that she had brought with her and tested positive. Immediately she called her tour operator and the hotel reception to let them know and for advice.

The tour operator and the hotel recommended speaking to the Spanish Health Authorities, who told the two friends to take a PCR test and isolate where they were for 10 days.

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Interest has been heightened by the announcement that dozens of countries will be exempt from travel quarantine requirements when holidaymakers return to England. That should mean English holidaymakers returning from lower-risk countries will not need to self - isolate for 14 days when The government has said people have a "civic duty" to quarantine if they receive a call from test and trace advisers. "Most people would behave responsibly even if that meant losing their holiday , but I would also expect holiday and insurance companies to show a little compassion in these circumstances

Josh will have to self - isolate for 10 days (. Image: Birmingham Mail). Josh Firminger, 20, will need to isolate at his home in Bromsgrove after returning from Ibiza as he hasn't yet had his second jab. After having to push back the trip last year due to Covid, Fern was determined to give her kids the family holiday they were promised - but admitted the rules around international travel were "confusing". She said: "It has been quite expensive with paying for the tests but it's been really nice to finally have a family holiday .

"I haven't felt ill as such, and even though we are stuck in our hotel room, we have tried to make the most of what we have," she says.

"We have been using the balcony as a living room, taking my tablet out to watch films in the evening and trying to make the most of it."

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Samantha says that she and Charlotte have been very touched by the kindness shown to them.

Charlotte reached out asking for a kettle and teabags on a private Facebook group, and a fellow guest brought them to the hotel when she arrived.

"Other guests in the hotel we have talked to over the balcony have also been very helpful and brought us milk and butter from the restaurant," says Samantha.

"It is lovely to know that there are so many people willing to help."

a woman sitting on a bench © Getty Images

The pair have had to pay upfront to keep the room on at the hotel, but their travel insurance will reimburse their costs. As Samantha is the one with coronavirus, her new flight home is also covered, but Charlotte will have to pay for her flight home, because her travel insurance doesn't cover her if she is not ill.

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Holidaying abroad will be a different experience this year but not all travellers will have to self - isolate when they return home as nations will be setting up quarantine-free 'air bridges' – the details of which are still in discussion and will be officially announced later this week. European Union borders will reopen on 1 July but with restrictions during the early stages. Of the 172 countries which had permission to fly to the EU region before the pandemic started, only around a fifth will be able to return during the next few weeks - and until the global situation with the coronavirus crisis eases.

Asked if they had ever lost or had money stolen whilst they were abroad , 64 per cent said ‘yes’. And more than half of those admitted they did not have the correct insurance in place to replace the cash. Most British holidaymakers now take hard cash or use pre-paid cards when they go abroad . 'Britons still seem to favour cash when it comes to travelling abroad , but it seems this does nothing for successful budgeting, as the majority of those taking cash with them last year ended up overspending. 'Whatever method you choose, just make sure you’re protected against loss or theft of money.

Asked why they chose to go abroad in the midst of the pandemic, Samantha said that they were aware of the risks.

"My friend has worked all through the pandemic and has always used foreign holidays to recharge," she explains.

"The prices of everything in the UK has sky rocketed, there's no availability anywhere and the weather isn't guaranteed."

The women feel that people "need to start living with COVID-19 because it is quite clearly not going away".

What to do if you test positive for Covid while abroad

"It's essential to take out insurance, even in some cases if you are on a package holiday," says Rory Boland, Travel Editor at consumer group Which?.

"It's crucial to check the detail to make sure that you have enough cover if you do need to isolate. Some policies have a 'day benefit' rate, but check that that will be enough to cover the cost of the hotel and everything else you might need if you do need to quarantine."

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera © Getty Images

He added that some customers might have travel insurance or flexible booking policies that might also just cover them if they need to self-isolate, but not necessarily the other people travelling with them.

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Which? says that when you're abroad, you should still minimise the risk of catching Covid as you would at home - by meeting people outside if possible, limiting the number of people you meet in crowded places and washing your hands regularly. Some countries will have different policies on when and where to wear a mask.

If you do find you test positive, each country - and sometimes the regions within it - will have different rules on where and for how long you need to quarantine, Mr Boland adds.

Some might require travellers to stay in their hotel rooms, while others might be moved to designated quarantine hotels.

"Contact your hotel and travel operator in the first place," says Mr Boland. "They should be able to help you navigate some of the health information, particularly if it is in a different language."

If you are staying independently or are just struggling to find the information you need, the Foreign Office does have advice on what to do if you test positive in different countries.

If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

And if you need emergency help, the FCDO recommend contacting the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

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