It’s time to go through this week’s changes listed by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO, previously FCO).
And it’s more than a little complex this week.
Let’s start with Greece, after yesterday’s news that Scotland was requiring people to isolate. Wales has extended its self-isolation requirement, depending on where you return from:
- If you are returning to Scotland from Greece on or after 3 September, you will need to self-isolate on your return (unless you are exempt). Check the latest guidance from the Scottish Government, and separate guidance if returning to England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
- If you’re returning to Wales on or after Friday 4 September from the islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete you are required to self isolate for 14 days. More information is available from the Welsh Government.
Moving onto Portugal, which faces travel corridors being removed if you are travelling to Scotland or Wales
- If you are travelling to Wales from mainland Portugal on or after 4am on 4 September, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return (unless you are exempt). Check the latest guidance from the Welsh Government.
- If you are travelling to Scotland from mainland Portugal or the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores on or after 4am on 5 September, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return (unless you are exempt. Check the latest guidance from the Scottish Government.
Next is French Polynesia
- Both Wales and Scotland have enacted requirements to self-isolate when arriving from these countries
Finally, we have Gibraltar
- Wales is requiring arrivals from Gibraltar to self-isolate for 14 days when returning.
Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport of the United Kingdom (and seemingly not willing to register his aircraft on a UK registry) stated:
We continue to keep the Travel Corridor list under constant review & won’t hesitate to remove countries if needed. However, there are no English additions or removals today.
Nonetheless, holidaymakers are reminded – 14-day quarantine countries can & do change at very short notice
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 3, 2020
Welcome to full-on confusion
With the four nations of the United Kingdom moving fully out of lock-step, travellers are going to find it more than confusing, with each nation trying to work out the best method to protect people and governments in Westminster, Edinburgh and Cardiff at odds with each other.
And it’s sowing the seeds of confusion.
Is the air-corridor strategy working? I’m not sure.
I struggle to see it working. It has been full on-madness over the past few weeks, with countries being added and dropped at will (or by science… take your pick). Suffice to say, with the four nations now out of step it’s making a mockery of the strategy.
And you know what – it seems that a better solution must be found sooner rather than later.
Because right now, the policy is causing confusion at best, wasting money in the middle and at worst – a possible failure to protect the public at large.
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