IT’S a great feeling to be slowly coming out of lockdown and let’s hope we don’t go backwards! Finally, there seems to be a whiff of positivity in the air as Spain is slowly opening-up again and the vaccine roll out is starting to gain traction.

Israel and the UK seem to be in the lead with the EU and rest of the world needing to catch up.

For many people there is uncertainty about having the vaccine, but for those of us living abroad, or those wanting to just go on holiday, it seems there’s little choice.

Whilst we’re all expecting vaccine passports to come into being, is it right that for people who do need and want to travel they have to have the vaccine to be able to do so? Again, is this an erosion of our free will?

Like most people, any concerns I had of having the vaccine were quickly dismissed because if I don’t have it, it will be much more difficult, maybe even impossible, to go to and from the UK to see my family.

I have an imminent trip planned to the UK for me and my partner costing £650 and that’s just for the PCR tests and home-testing kits which are now necessary.

Coronavirus Mon Mar 8, 2021
An NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 self-testing kit

Add on the cost of flights and it makes for a very expensive trip and definitely not affordable for all families.

Before you travel you’ll need a negative PCR or antigen test to be able to get into the UK. You’ll still need to self-isolate for 10 days on return even after using the home-testing kit, which costs £210 per person.

With this you test yourself on day two and again on day eight and providing they are both negative you are then free to go out after the 10 days.

You also have the option to test yourself again on day five if you pay an extra £100, and if that test is negative you are immediately allowed to be released from quarantine.

On your return to Spain you will also need a negative PCR test to enter the country. Kerching! It would seem that the powers that be want to do as much as they can to deter people from travelling abroad by making the cost of the tests expensive which seems elitist to me.

Many families will simply not be able to afford to travel if these rules remain in place and where will that leave the travel and tourism industry?

Of course we need safety measures in place to travel but I don’t see how it’s fair to attach such high costs for testing when it’s in everyone’s interest.

Currently, if you have symptoms you’re able to go along to a local testing station and get one done for free, but not if it’s because you’ve travelled, or plan to. Also, who is financially benefiting from the income generated from private testing? I very much doubt it will be ploughed back into the NHS or Spanish healthcare system.

I cannot wait to see what governments have in store for us when they finally decide on international travel come May 17th.

Will we have to pay for vaccine passports as well and how will that even work when only the elderly and vulnerable will have been vaccinated by summer?

We all know people desperate to have a well-deserved holiday. I mean what did most of us all work for in the UK?

A holiday is not a luxury when we spend most of our lives working and paying into tax systems, and then only allowed a few weeks off a year in which to go where the hell we want. And don’t even get me started on all the poor hospitality business owners, hotel companies and travel and tourism workers who are hanging on by a thread!

It’s not difficult, get everyone vaccinated asap, give us our freedoms back and in the words of Jessie J, ‘forget about the price tag’.

You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @tereniataras

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