Travel: Simon Calder discusses taking PCR tests

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Britons have had to contend with a lot of changing rules and regulations over the past 18 months. International travel, in particular, has been a sore point for the Government, trying to balance the health of the country and people’s wish to go on holiday.

A new travel announcement should be made today, and speculations are at an all-time high.

Simon Calder was on ITV News earlier today and spoke about some of the hopes, and speculations, surrounding the announcement.

He said: “The red [list] is the effective travel ban, which keeps many families separated and of course stops us going on holiday to lovey places like Turkey.

“The soundings seem to be that it will be much reduced, which could mean that Turkey opens up.

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“Airlines are standing by to put flights and holidays on, especially for that important half term break.”

While this is good news for holidaymakers, there may be a catch to the good news of a reduced red list and the scrapping of PCR tests.

Simon said: “We’re also hearing rumours.

“It’s possible unvaccinated travellers might have to go into quarantine even if they’re coming back from low risk countries.”

This potential new rule would effectively stop a minority of Britons from being able to go abroad.

Simon continued: “At the moment, if you’re not jabbed and you’re coming back from Croatia, from Germany, from Malta, there’s no self-isolation, we’re hearing that might change and you might need to go into quarantine.”

While this would be very bad news for unvaccinated Britons, the general outlook was positive.

Simon said: “We’re looking for a lot more certainty, a lot more simplicity and hopefully, something cheaper and easier to organise.”

Britain had, he said “absolutely the best travel industry in the world” before the start of the pandemic.

It has been decimated by rules and regulations, as well as by the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.

Simon ranted about the last year, saying it had been “incoherent”.

He said: “For the first 19 weeks of this year, it was illegal to go on holiday or even go and see love ones.

“Then, five months ago today, the Government said ‘right, you can go abroad, but by the way, you can only go to these very few countries that’s Gibraltar, Iceland and Portugal’.

“And 10 days later they said ‘sorry, you can’t go to Portugal without quarantining anymore’.”

He continued: “It’s absolutely confusing, chaotic, incoherent.

“A lot of people say it’s completely pointless, especially with these PCR tests when you come back, they’re showing zero variants of concern and it’s effectively a tax on hard working people who want to go on holiday and also there’s so much uncertainty that people aren’t prepared to book.”

With PCR tests set to be scraped and the red list reduced, the travel industry may get their wish for simplified travel rules going forward.
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