Amber chaos as travelers who aren’t fully vaccinated rush home
Sun seekers who have not yet been fully vaccinated are scrambling to return home from the Balearic Islands to avoid 10 days of self-isolation.
The shift of the holiday islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza from the green watch list to amber has caused chaos.
Tourists are cutting vacations short, lining up for revamped Covid tests and paying for new flights so they can be back in Britain at 4 a.m. tomorrow.
Then the Spanish islands will move to the Amber List – after just 15 days on the green – and those that haven’t had a double bite will have to quarantine at home.
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There were concerns that even fully vaccinated people would be forced to self-isolate if our government extended its crackdown on travelers from France.
From tomorrow, double-bite arrivals from Orange Nations will avoid quarantine – unless they come from France, which has seen an increase in beta variant cases.
France is the UK’s second most popular holiday destination and the latest move has left tens of thousands in a rush for travel reimbursements.
Yesterday in the Mallorcan resort of Magaluf, warehouse worker Owen Hayes, 26, of Cardiff, said: âI had to cut my vacation short to avoid quarantine. After taking the plane on Friday, I’m going back tomorrow.
He received a double injection but not within the necessary timeframe and therefore paid Â£ 75 for a new TUI flight.
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He said: âFootball at Wembley looks like things are improving, but within weeks Mallorca and the rest of the Balearic Islands go from green to amber. It’s confusing for people.
Auto buyer Nicky Watt, 24, is on vacation with her unpitted welfare partner, Max Day.
Nicky, who had a stroke, said: âWe had to pay an extra Â£ 100 to book a new flight with Ryanair. It’s disappointing that we had to cut our vacation short.
Expatriate drug and alcohol addiction counselor Alex Newman has paid for an early flight to Britain to avoid quarantine and save his 50th birthday party in Bath with friends and family.
She said: âI’ve been planning a party for my 50th for so long. When it was announced that Mallorca was switching to amber, I knew I had to be home by Monday and I was in a panic.
âIt cost me Â£ 120 and I had to take a benchmark PCR test.
âYou just can’t plan anything. The current traffic light system is a disorganized chaos and should be ditched as it is constantly changing.
âThe whole situation is a mess and causes more stress and upheaval for everyone everywhere. People need more clarity to allow them to live their lives.
Reacting to the news regarding France, Karl Clasper, of Middlesbrough, said: âIf they do the same with the Balearics as they did with France, we’ll be screwed with work and family life. Statistically, the Covid situation is worse in the UK than here in Mallorca, so I don’t see why they would need it. “
And Megan Amott, 23, an NHS Covid caregiver, of Barnsley, South Yorks, said if Spain had the same drag as France it would have to take time off work.
Megan, who is fully vaccinated, said: “I probably wouldn’t get paid and I don’t think my bosses would be any better satisfied.”
A Briton from Birmingham aiming to fly to Mallorca at the end of this month has booked a one-way flight midway through her stay in case Spain ends up on the UK travel red list.
Michelle Hyde, who runs a party supply and rental store, posted online: âThis lady is determined to take a vacation. The flight was Â£ 16 to get home and I’d rather waste Â£ 16 than give the government Â£ 1,700.
The Balearics recorded 752 new cases of Covid yesterday after two days of record increases, with 864 on Friday and 795 on Thursday.
Parts of Spain have reintroduced nighttime curfews, which means tourists to Costa resorts, like Salou near Tarragona, must be indoors before 1 a.m.
The bosses of Benidorm hotels have given up on the idea of ââa great summer, despite the end of quarantine requirements from tomorrow for British tourists with double bites.
Travel consultant Paul Charles said the French restriction applied to the thousands of people crossing from France to the UK.
He said: âThere is now fear that the government will stealthily move to create a general quarantine again. If they did it for France, one of the three great British destinations, could they do it for Spain and Greece?
And Rory Boland, of consumer watchdog Which ?, said: “Many will have a hard time getting a refund or a claim on their insurance.” He urged travel agencies to do everything possible to support vacationers.
The government blamed the additional restriction on France on an increase in cases of beta variants – first identified in South Africa.
Meanwhile, in London, the Metropolitan Tube line was suspended yesterday due to a staff shortage triggered by workers being asked to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app. The Piccadilly and District lines were also affected.