AN Olive Press reader has slammed the “double standards” imposed by UK authorities after discovering a major pitfall of visiting the UK from Spain – or indeed anywhere else in Europe.
Despite being fully vaccinated, and recognised as such under travel rules outlined on the official British government pages, there is one major downside to having been vaccinated outside of the UK.
Only those who are fully vaccinated under the NHS are exempt from self-isolating if they are contacted through the ‘test and trace’ scheme.
The UK insists that all travellers arriving in the UK must fill in a Health Locator Form as well as passing the test requirements – which now insist on a PCR test on Day 2 after arrival in Britain but also those who are fully vaccinated with approved vaccination scheme to avoid self-isolation or quarantine.
However, if someone who was seated near you on the airplane tests positive on their day 2 test, new arrivals could be contacted under the NHS ‘test and trace’ programme.
This poses no problem for those who are double jabbed in the UK as they fall under the list of “exemptions” from the need for quarantine.
But this does not apply to those who were double jabbed outside the NHS, according to the rules outlined on the website.
One reader contacted the Olive Press to describe their recent experience:
“I travelled to the UK from Spain on 1st October. Four days later I received an email from NHS Test and Trace stating that I must self-isolate for 10 days because I am a close contact of somebody who has tested positive (this can only have been on my flight to the UK),” said Ellis King, a British expat living in Andalucia.
“The Test and Trace guidance states that I must self-isolate unless I am exempt and one of the exemptions is that you are fully vaccinated more than 14 days ago. However, this only applies if you were vaccinated in the UK. This is not made clear prior to complete NHS Test and Trace information, nor is it something that I believe many travellers are aware of before visiting the UK.”
He continued: “The UK is discriminating against those vaccinated anywhere else in the world, despite these exact vaccines being approved and used in the UK. My EU vaccine certificate is sufficient to grant me entry into the UK, but not to prevent me from having to self-isolate – there is absolutely no basis for this. No scientific evidence, no medical guidance.
King expressed absolute fury about the double standards and said it had ruined his trip home.
“This is a ridiculous, discriminatory ruling. I have been double vaccinated in Andalucía with the Moderna vaccine, which is an MHRA approved vaccine also being used in the UK. If a different passenger on the same plane as me was vaccinated with exactly the same Moderna vaccine as myself, but in the UK, they would not need to self-isolate.”
He warned other travellers to be aware of the conditions, which could potentially ruin a trip back to the UK. Ellis for one said he wasn’t go repeat it.
“With Christmas soon approaching, I have now decided that it is simply not worth the trouble of returning to visit my family over the festive period, in case I once again receive said Test and Trace email (highly likely).
“Anybody staying less than 10 days would need to extend their stay and change their flights to complete the full period of isolation out of their own pocket, purely because the UK discriminates against those vaccinated abroad.”
Got a story? Get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org