Travel restrictions put Christmas holidays in check

By Sara Valle-Martínez

The return to “Plan B” raises concerns amongst Christmas travellers.

Christmas travel plans are set to be disrupted as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last December 8th that England will be moving to “Plan B” following the spread of the Omicron variant.

Covid-19 cases could be doubling in the next weeks, as suggested by an analysis from the UK Health Security Agency.

From Friday 10th of December, face coverings are again compulsory in most indoor venues, the NHS Covid Pass will be mandatory in specific settings and people are advised to work from home when possible.

Stansted airport in London days before Christmas. Photo by Sara Valle-Martínez.

Travellers are concerned they won’t be able to come back to the UK without strict quarantines and testing upon arrival.

Nerine Leonardo, 53, who works as a chef said: “I’m going to Spain to see my family. I don’t really care… It’s not the restrictions, but the short notice and the uncertainty and all. It’s just tiring. Now they told me my 12-year-old can’t travel without two jabs. It’s madness.”

Laura Thomas, 23, a British shop manager added: “I’ve got the vaccines and I can test at home. Last time I had to stay home for 14 days… I can’t afford this. I have to go back to work. I just hope I don’t have to leave early again.”

Travellers waiting to board the plane @ Stansted airport in London. Photo by Sara Valle-Martínez.

The government said they will continue to look closely at the emerging data. The vaccines remain the best line of defence. The message urges unvaccinated citizens to get their first jab and those eligible to get their boosters when called.

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