Although I was vaccinated, I was quarantined as a contact person in Britain «Standard».

Perhaps none of the restrictive measures that have been introduced in connection with the coronavirus pandemic have complicated our daily lives as much as they have complicated the various entry restrictions. It has had an impact even in the case of an international organization like the European Union, which, according to its own statement, one of its main goals is the free movement of capital, services, goods and people. However, with the virus hitting its head in Europe, EU member states have introduced more sophisticated testing and quarantine obligations for entry, severely undermining key provisions of the Schengen Agreement.

Some countries have gone even further. At the height of the second wave, for example, Denmark simply banned entry to all non-Danish citizens who had no “good reason” to enter as defined by the Danish government.

As a result, they may have been EU citizens international studentsThose who were studying for a semester in another EU country under the Erasmus+ program before the restriction was introduced, were not allowed to return to Denmark at the end of the exchange programme.

However, with the launch of a widespread vaccination program, travel within the Union has become easier. Since June 30, the European Union has gone digital covid id A smooth transit of the European Economic Area (which, in addition to the 27 EU member states, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) could prove protected from the virus. In addition, more and more non-EEA countries are adopting the EU Covid Card, making it easier for EU citizens to travel internationally.

Although the UK, which imposed strict entry restrictions during the pandemic a few weeks ago, has joined the ranks of these states, some of the country’s previous restrictions, including those that have been vaccinated, have survived. To cross the border, all international passengers must complete one Passenger Locator Form A document containing basic personal information and contact information.

In addition, the obligation to test has not been completely eliminated: those wishing to travel to the UK have to make an appointment at their own expense at one of the more than four hundred private test centers approved by the British Government. The booking confirmation number must be indicated on the said passenger locator form. (The test must be done within two days of arrival in the UK, and until the omicron variant appears a few days earlier, an antigen test can be used to demonstrate protection, but a PCR test is required to re-enter the country since last Sunday.)

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As I approached my freedom, I saw that it was time to visit a friend of mine who had not been seen in London for a long time – there was no mention of the omicron variant at the time. I have also booked an airline ticket and requested an at-home express test from one of the UK Government approved test centres. Entry went smoothly, I submitted my EU Covid ID at Budapest airport before take off, and in London I answered slightly intrusive cross-border questions from border guards and took a Covid test on the second day of my stay, which was negative.

However, the joy was short-lived as I received an email from the NHS (National Health Service) just two hours after uploading my test results telling me that I had been identified as a contact person and stating that I needed to self-quarantine for 10 days at home.

I was quite surprised because I thought that with two doses of Pfizer I would be among those who would be exempted from the quarantine required to become a contact person. As it turns out, you were almost right: People who have already been vaccinated are exempt from quarantine if they are vaccinated by UK NHS staff.

Those who have been vaccinated in another country with one of the vaccines A The British government also recognizes (Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Covvaxin) are still subject to quarantine, which cannot be triggered or shortened by a negative PCR test. The real absurdity of the regulation is given by the EU vaccine certification Entry without quarantine is possible to the UK, so it is very difficult to understand why the same document is not suitable to give its holder the same opportunities as those who have been vaccinated in the UK.

As it turns out, the British government is well aware of this anomaly, which is justified by the fear that “the vaccination regimes of other countries Unreliable They are stricter than those in the UK.

This argument seems quite editorial when the news for years has been about how the conservatives who have been running the country since 2010 have been running. They are constantly shifting resources of health care. Many blame the Conservative Party directly for the 2012 London Olympics At the opening ceremony The NHS has become more popular than the royal family in the past two decades, according to some surveys.privatization planned.

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I was still able to solve the problem relatively easily: I had bought a flight ticket to Budapest on the same day at the suggestion of an NHS phone clerk, taking advantage of the legal gray area to leave the UK if we had a valid ticket for the day we became a contact. As a result, I was forced into long phone conversations with the NHS when I got home, but I didn’t have to go into quarantine nor did I have to pay a thousand pounds in the low voice for breaking UK quarantine rules.

However, many are not so fortunate. The Independent Books The story of Chris Watts, a British citizen living in Poland who traveled to the UK in early October to visit his mother in a nursing home, but was told less than an hour before the visit that he had an EU Covid ID to no avail, and ten days of quarantine in Waiting for him, as one of his companions presumably tested positive.

The magazine for foreigners residing in France link He believes that, given the epidemic numbers in early October, when a test was run after 0.8%, it found one or two passengers on each flight who passed the test. As the UK government requires airlines to transfer data from those seated two seats apart from passengers or groups of passengers, Connexion estimates that at least 15 passengers per flight will be notified by the NHS, who will have to quarantine if they do not The NHS had no staff. Vaccine.

In addition, this problem affects not only travelers to the UK (some of whom choose to cancel or postpone their trip precisely because they want to avoid a week and a half of confinement), but also foreigners studying or working in the country who have received the coronavirus vaccination. . A Hungarian student in Cambridge who spoke to The Standard reported that a classmate who had been vaccinated in Canada should be quarantined as a contact person, despite the fact that vaccinations given to enter a British Commonwealth country were sufficient and the official British government to travel abroad. website It specifically encourages British citizens living in Canada to get vaccinated there.

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The only convenience for foreign nationals living in the UK on a daily basis is that in the absence of a passenger locator form they can only be identified by UK health authorities if they download an app called NHS Track and Trace (which is optional). However, even users are afraid of serial quarantine More and more people are deleting it £13 billion program from their phones. This in turn makes managing the pandemic increasingly difficult in the UK, which is already facing increasingly serious challenges given the sharp increase in the number of cases.

Sajid Javid, who had been spectacularly parked in the parking lot for a while after British Health Secretary Boris Johnson came to power, wrote in large letters a few days ago Twitterén About the great news that this very absurd situation will end on December 1, and those who have been vaccinated with WHO approved vaccines will not have to go into quarantine if a traveler tests positive.

Since then, of course, life and the pandemic have partly affected the British government’s calculations, with the tightening of the omicron variant requiring PCR testing again to enter the UK and isolating contacts with the omicron variant. For the latter, of course, it would be a shame to criticize the British government, because we do not yet know for sure how much protection the vaccines provide against the new alternative.

It is unfortunate, as did the representatives of the opposition Labor Party Attention has been drawnHowever, the quarantines for vaccines and the costly tests required for entry have made it very difficult for British tourism – and those who work in it – to recover, which, unlike the situation in most European countries, is still a shadow of before the pandemic.

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