Foreign Tourists

TwelveAngryMen

Well-known member
How can this be right when we aren't allowed in each others houses ?

Naively I have thought the tightening of restrictions was a ' two way ' process


Thousands of tourists are being let in to the country every day even though the government has tightened restrictions on British people going abroad.

Hundreds are arriving on tourist visas issued by the Home Office, according to Border Force staff.

One visa was granted to a tourist from Peru who said on their application form that the reason for their trip to the UK was to “visit Big Ben”.

Of the roughly 20,000 people arriving every day about 40 per cent, or 8,000, are tourists, according to figures compiled by Border Force staff.

Last Monday the government brought in even tougher restrictions on people who try to leave the UK by introducing £5,000 fines for those who go to an airport with the intention of going abroad on holiday.

The tough penalties, which apply to everyone who lives in the UK, were introduced because there was a fear of a mass exodus over the bank holiday.

One member of Border Force staff said: “There are hundreds upon hundreds of arrivals up and down the UK every day from people who are basically coming here on a two-week holiday. There are no grounds to refuse them — arriving during a pandemic isn’t one of them. As long as they’ve got an address where they say they’ll quarantine, and they’ve completed their pre-departure tests, they’ve got their certificates and everything else, they’ve got means and a return ticket, we’ve got no grounds to refuse them.

“We’re still seeing visas issued overseas for people coming over here for a two-week family holiday and while it is permissible if someone is dying, that isn’t what staff are seeing. They’re seeing visas being issued overseas for purposes that people in the UK aren’t allowed to do.”
Lucy Moreton, of the Immigration Services Union, said: “It causes immense distress to Border Force staff to be constantly granting entry to individuals for reasons that would be impermissible for a UK resident. It’s deeply unfair for staff who cannot visit their own family in the UK or abroad who will be fined for doing so from this week to be seeing these numbers of arrivals of people coming to visit family in the UK, let alone go on holiday in the UK.”
Only 1 per cent of arrivals are required to quarantine in a hotel but that number could increase over the coming days given the extra countries added to Britain’s “red list” yesterday. Countries on the banned list include Argentina, Chile, Qatar and South Africa.

All passengers entering the UK must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than three days before departure, regardless of where they came from. They must complete a passenger locator form with an address for their ten-day quarantine on arrival, with fines for those who fail to comply.

From March 8 all passengers coming into the UK have had to carry a form declaring that their trip is permitted under national lockdown rules.
However, Border Force staff said that they did not have the power to deny them entry as long as they had complied with testing and quarantine requirements.

Last night the Home Office said that it did not recognise the figures provided by Border Force staff but was unable to account for why tourists were issued visas for sightseeing purposes such as visiting Big Ben.

Kevin Foster, minister for future borders and immigration, said: “We do not recognise these figures. We are enforcing tough health measures at the border for the small minority of people coming to the UK, including those entering on a visitor visa for legitimate reasons.

“Since January 2021, we have paused all decisions on visitor visas to applicants applying from a ‘red list’ country or where it is apparent an applicant has visited one of those countries in the last ten days. Border Force officers also have the right to refuse entry to any visitor who they believe has travelled to the UK to carry out activities not permitted under current local health restrictions, such as holidays or tourism, or who will not comply with self-isolation and testing requirements.”

Case study
Anonymous border worker
It is pretty grim working on the border at the moment. The number of travellers is reduced but it is really demoralising to see all these people coming and going on holiday, visiting family when we are not supposed to be able to (Matt Dathan writes).
There are “bucket and spade” flights still, organised by mainstream travel companies; UK residents having their two weeks on an island and coming back; 250 coming back from the Canaries a couple of weeks ago. All with their negative tests and addresses to isolate of course, although none of us know if they will.
Then there are those coming from further away to spend a month with family. My family are two hours away and I haven’t seen them in six months. I miss my family so much, but every day I have to grant entry to people from faraway places who are coming to stay with their family. Yes, they have the negative test, the address of their family where they will stay for the required two weeks before moving on to another family member.
Why is it that we are still granting visas for people to come on holiday to the UK? There was one the other week where the traveller had put on the visa application form as their reason for travelling: “To visit Big Ben.”
Really? In a pandemic.



 

TSSeasider

Well-known member
I think we should be careful.

I wouldn't want anybody from Brazil or continental Europe coming for example.

But somebody from NZ, less of an issue.

They should also be mandated to have tests before departure, on arrival and every 3 days they are in the UK; if they test positive, isolation like the rest of us.

That should keep us on the right trajectory.
 

Junior_BentsPlatformShoes

Well-known member
It’s almost like the government has thought that a way to recover the economy is to keep everyone here, spending their money at home but allowing tourists in to also spend their money. They wouldn’t do that, surely 🙄
 

TwelveAngryMen

Well-known member
I think we should be careful.

I wouldn't want anybody from Brazil or continental Europe coming for example.

But somebody from NZ, less of an issue.

They should also be mandated to have tests before departure, on arrival and every 3 days they are in the UK; if they test positive, isolation like the rest of us.

That should keep us on the right trajectory.
Why would we want anyone ?

As things stand the tourist sector isn't open to UK tourists
 

Upwards

Well-known member
I think we should be careful.

I wouldn't want anybody from Brazil or continental Europe coming for example.

But somebody from NZ, less of an issue.

They should also be mandated to have tests before departure, on arrival and every 3 days they are in the UK; if they test positive, isolation like the rest of us.

That should keep us on the right trajectory.
I am not sure that your wish not to want anyone from Europe or Brazil visiting equates to that happening.
 

BFCGULF

Well-known member
Would need to understand the breakdown of the visas, for example, I am planning to return to the UK in the next four weeks and my wife has a visit visa (5yr multiple entry type) so that would that be classed as a holiday despite owning property in the UK, bank account etc...
 

Johnno

Well-known member
I think we should be careful.

I wouldn't want anybody from Brazil or continental Europe coming for example.

But somebody from NZ, less of an issue.

They should also be mandated to have tests before departure, on arrival and every 3 days they are in the UK; if they test positive, isolation like the rest of us.

That should keep us on the right trajectory.
I’ve been reading up on this recently, as a German friend comes over for a festival every August (bar last one obviously).
I might be wrong, but from what I’ve read, if they come from a non-red list country they have to have proof of a test before travel. They have to book a ‘post arrival’ test pack ( 2 tests, 1 to be done on day 1 or 2, the second to be done day 8+ ).
They have to travel directly to place of quarantine, which can be with family or friends, and stay quarantined until the day 8+ test comes back negative.
If they’re staying with friends (as in my case), the friends carry on as normal unless they start showing symptoms or day 1-2 test comes back positive (this test SHOULD detect infection to traveller whilst still being within ‘latent’ period for the other people living in the quarantine house, so they then can isolate before they are infectious).
No other visitors to place of quarantine during this 8-10 day period.

All works, to an extent, in theory, but it’s asking a lot to believe that everyone’s going to stick to the full procedure.
 

Matesrates

Well-known member
I’ve been reading up on this recently, as a German friend comes over for a festival every August (bar last one obviously).
I might be wrong, but from what I’ve read, if they come from a non-red list country they have to have proof of a test before travel. They have to book a ‘post arrival’ test pack ( 2 tests, 1 to be done on day 1 or 2, the second to be done day 8+ ).
They have to travel directly to place of quarantine, which can be with family or friends, and stay quarantined until the day 8+ test comes back negative.
If they’re staying with friends (as in my case), the friends carry on as normal unless they start showing symptoms or day 1-2 test comes back positive (this test SHOULD detect infection to traveller whilst still being within ‘latent’ period for the other people living in the quarantine house, so they then can isolate before they are infectious).
No other visitors to place of quarantine during this 8-10 day period.

All works, to an extent, in theory, but it’s asking a lot to believe that everyone’s going to stick to the full procedure.
Agree, I wonder how many comply.
 

Ruperthoop

Well-known member
It makes no sense to me either. How can you police this. This situation is not going to last for ever the day will come soon when it will not be a concern visiting other countries. I understand peoples frustration when they are not even permitted to visit family and friends.
 

TwelveAngryMen

Well-known member
Proving quite a divisive issue in Germany after 40,000 take Easter breaks in Majorca

Up to 40,000 pandemic-weary Germans have headed for Mallorca this weekend in search of sun, sand and sangria as Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly considers overruling regional leaders and imposing a “mega-lockdown” to stem a surge in cases of Covid-19.

Under present restrictions, Germans are barred from holidaying in their homeland, with hotels forbidden since last November from taking tourists. But in a curious quirk in the rules, nothing prevents them from packing their beach towels and flying more than 1,000 miles south to Palma de Mallorca.

In another paradox, residents of mainland Spain are barred from visiting Mallorca or the other Balearic islands because of their own government’s ban on inter-regional travel.

The German exodus has been fuelled by the Berlin government’s decision last month to lift the travel warning it had imposed on the island, where cases of the virus have dropped sharply, meaning Germans are no longer obliged to quarantine on their return home. Tour operators responded by sharply increasing their services: Eurowings, the budget carrier, alone added another 300 flights for this month. Many quickly sold out.

But their departure has provoked much tut-tutting in Germany: commentators have questioned whether it is justified on ethical grounds to go strolling in the sun while everyone else back home is suffering. Television reporters have been dispatched to ask holidaymakers to justify their behaviour.

One, named only as Marcel, 30, from Saarlouis in southwest Germany, interviewed as he walked along a near-deserted Mallorcan beach with his girlfriend, said he had been bombarded with messages from friends on Facebook and Instagram asking how he could “allow himself” to travel to the island. He insisted he was doing nothing wrong. “We were all tested negative before we were allowed on the plane and here we are practising social distancing,” he said. “I don’t know what could be safer.”

Questions have nevertheless been asked about the wisdom of allowing people to fly off to the sun, when new cases of Covid-19 in Germany are passing 20,000 a day — compared with 8,000 or so a month ago. Merkel has been arguing in recent weeks for a toughening of what is already a fairly strict lockdown, but has been facing resistance from leaders of some of the Länder, the federal states, which are in charge of public health policy.

This weekend has been portrayed as decisive. In a video address on Thursday evening, the chancellor urged Germans to consider the strain on doctors and nurses and help them by respecting restrictions. “There needs to be a quiet Easter festival,” she said. “I urgently ask you to refrain from all non-urgent travel [and] that we all consistently follow the rules.”

Bild, the popular tabloid, claimed Merkel was considering pulling the “emergency brake” and imposing a “mega-lockdown” that would include school closures and nationwide curfews — possibly even during the day. Trying to do so risks taking her into uncharted constitutional territory if some state leaders continue to object.

Among those resisting her has been Armin Laschet, the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, who was elected in January as federal leader of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and was thought to be her choice to become chancellor when she steps down at this September’s elections.

Lockdown measures are being tightened across Europe amid fears that travel and greater social mingling over the long Easter weekend could add further force to a third wave of Covid sweeping through the Continent. The problem is exacerbated by the low numbers vaccinated across the EU.

In France, a “light” lockdown already in place in 19 departments, including Paris, was from yesterday extended to the whole country for at least four weeks, with schools closed until April 26. President Emmanuel Macron, who had been resisting calls to clamp down, was left with little choice but to act as the number of new infections reported surged to 40,000 a day.

The whole of Italy, meanwhile, has been classified “red” — meaning the highest level of restrictions — for three days, with all non-essential movement banned. Other countries have also tightened their rules.

Amid such gloom, an Easter influx of free-spending Germans has been welcomed by the hard-pressed hoteliers and restaurateurs of Mallorca, who have long been dependent on tourists flying in from Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. The island has become such a holiday institution among German holidaymakers that it is jokingly referred to as the republic’s “17th state”.

The numbers heading south are still only a fraction, though, of the millions who make the trip in normal times: beaches that are normally packed at this time of year were this weekend just dotted with holidaymakers, while compulsory closure of bars and restaurants at 5pm has put the dampeners on the island’s usually lively night life.

Mallorca’s hotel association said only 13 per cent of its establishments were open.
 

TSSeasider

Well-known member
Proving quite a divisive issue in Germany after 40,000 take Easter breaks in Majorca

Up to 40,000 pandemic-weary Germans have headed for Mallorca this weekend in search of sun, sand and sangria as Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly considers overruling regional leaders and imposing a “mega-lockdown” to stem a surge in cases of Covid-19.

Under present restrictions, Germans are barred from holidaying in their homeland, with hotels forbidden since last November from taking tourists. But in a curious quirk in the rules, nothing prevents them from packing their beach towels and flying more than 1,000 miles south to Palma de Mallorca.

In another paradox, residents of mainland Spain are barred from visiting Mallorca or the other Balearic islands because of their own government’s ban on inter-regional travel.

The German exodus has been fuelled by the Berlin government’s decision last month to lift the travel warning it had imposed on the island, where cases of the virus have dropped sharply, meaning Germans are no longer obliged to quarantine on their return home. Tour operators responded by sharply increasing their services: Eurowings, the budget carrier, alone added another 300 flights for this month. Many quickly sold out.

But their departure has provoked much tut-tutting in Germany: commentators have questioned whether it is justified on ethical grounds to go strolling in the sun while everyone else back home is suffering. Television reporters have been dispatched to ask holidaymakers to justify their behaviour.

One, named only as Marcel, 30, from Saarlouis in southwest Germany, interviewed as he walked along a near-deserted Mallorcan beach with his girlfriend, said he had been bombarded with messages from friends on Facebook and Instagram asking how he could “allow himself” to travel to the island. He insisted he was doing nothing wrong. “We were all tested negative before we were allowed on the plane and here we are practising social distancing,” he said. “I don’t know what could be safer.”

Questions have nevertheless been asked about the wisdom of allowing people to fly off to the sun, when new cases of Covid-19 in Germany are passing 20,000 a day — compared with 8,000 or so a month ago. Merkel has been arguing in recent weeks for a toughening of what is already a fairly strict lockdown, but has been facing resistance from leaders of some of the Länder, the federal states, which are in charge of public health policy.

This weekend has been portrayed as decisive. In a video address on Thursday evening, the chancellor urged Germans to consider the strain on doctors and nurses and help them by respecting restrictions. “There needs to be a quiet Easter festival,” she said. “I urgently ask you to refrain from all non-urgent travel [and] that we all consistently follow the rules.”

Bild, the popular tabloid, claimed Merkel was considering pulling the “emergency brake” and imposing a “mega-lockdown” that would include school closures and nationwide curfews — possibly even during the day. Trying to do so risks taking her into uncharted constitutional territory if some state leaders continue to object.

Among those resisting her has been Armin Laschet, the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, who was elected in January as federal leader of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and was thought to be her choice to become chancellor when she steps down at this September’s elections.

Lockdown measures are being tightened across Europe amid fears that travel and greater social mingling over the long Easter weekend could add further force to a third wave of Covid sweeping through the Continent. The problem is exacerbated by the low numbers vaccinated across the EU.

In France, a “light” lockdown already in place in 19 departments, including Paris, was from yesterday extended to the whole country for at least four weeks, with schools closed until April 26. President Emmanuel Macron, who had been resisting calls to clamp down, was left with little choice but to act as the number of new infections reported surged to 40,000 a day.

The whole of Italy, meanwhile, has been classified “red” — meaning the highest level of restrictions — for three days, with all non-essential movement banned. Other countries have also tightened their rules.

Amid such gloom, an Easter influx of free-spending Germans has been welcomed by the hard-pressed hoteliers and restaurateurs of Mallorca, who have long been dependent on tourists flying in from Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. The island has become such a holiday institution among German holidaymakers that it is jokingly referred to as the republic’s “17th state”.

The numbers heading south are still only a fraction, though, of the millions who make the trip in normal times: beaches that are normally packed at this time of year were this weekend just dotted with holidaymakers, while compulsory closure of bars and restaurants at 5pm has put the dampeners on the island’s usually lively night life.

Mallorca’s hotel association said only 13 per cent of its establishments were open.
Perhaps if every country said no to international travel it would work, but that's very difficult to do.

I'll not be travelling abroad this year, I'll possibly even avoid London due to reluctance of many of its residents to take this jab; bit I can understand why people want a holiday.
 

Foolweary

Well-known member
I haven't been back to the UK since October, ive not been in the company of my children or grandchild for 6 months.

I seriously feel like I need a break, and intend to fly back in April or early May. The 2 tests required in the UK apparently cost £210 coming from abroad, as someone said above at <2 days and >7 days. I also have to have a test prior to leaving Germany. 14 days quarantine in the UK in my own house I will probably cut short and fly back out after 10 days.

I can't really see the problem with those rules as it stands. The article quoted above is scaremongering and should be ignored. If we don't trust people to abide by them, that is what the passenger locator form is for, although the likelihood of a British government failing to make the effort to organise it i concede is high.

My Mrs is not a UK national and probably will stay in Germany for the duration.
 

Costero Poderoso

Well-known member
its the same here in spain, i am literally restricted to my municipality, which is about 8 villages. however if i lived in central bilbao I would be able to use the airport and travel anywhere that would let me in. I am not allowed to drive to Madrid But i could fly there. nonesensical
 

gjr69

Well-known member
Why would anybody currently want to come here for a 2 week holiday!
No pubs, restaurants open. No historical sites, galleries or museums open. Weather is at best average.
Most shops shut.
What could you do apart from a bracing walk each day and then back to your self contained accommodation to cook yourself a meal. Not much of a holiday.
Doesn't sound right to me.
 

seasideone

Well-known member
Would need to understand the breakdown of the visas, for example, I am planning to return to the UK in the next four weeks and my wife has a visit visa (5yr multiple entry type) so that would that be classed as a holiday despite owning property in the UK, bank account etc...
Be careful - proving too many links to the UK could result in a debate with HMRC on your status 👍
 

Foolweary

Well-known member
Be careful - proving too many links to the UK could result in a debate with HMRC on your status 👍
Earnings in the UK have to be taxed in the UK, your other income is of no interest to HMRC unless you are there for more than 183days.

The UK unlike the immoral US agrees with the principle that no income should be subject to tax from 2 jurisdictions.
 

Wizaard

Well-known member
How can this be right when we aren't allowed in each others houses ?

Naively I have thought the tightening of restrictions was a ' two way ' process


Thousands of tourists are being let in to the country every day even though the government has tightened restrictions on British people going abroad.

Hundreds are arriving on tourist visas issued by the Home Office, according to Border Force staff.

One visa was granted to a tourist from Peru who said on their application form that the reason for their trip to the UK was to “visit Big Ben”.

Of the roughly 20,000 people arriving every day about 40 per cent, or 8,000, are tourists, according to figures compiled by Border Force staff.

Last Monday the government brought in even tougher restrictions on people who try to leave the UK by introducing £5,000 fines for those who go to an airport with the intention of going abroad on holiday.

The tough penalties, which apply to everyone who lives in the UK, were introduced because there was a fear of a mass exodus over the bank holiday.

One member of Border Force staff said: “There are hundreds upon hundreds of arrivals up and down the UK every day from people who are basically coming here on a two-week holiday. There are no grounds to refuse them — arriving during a pandemic isn’t one of them. As long as they’ve got an address where they say they’ll quarantine, and they’ve completed their pre-departure tests, they’ve got their certificates and everything else, they’ve got means and a return ticket, we’ve got no grounds to refuse them.

“We’re still seeing visas issued overseas for people coming over here for a two-week family holiday and while it is permissible if someone is dying, that isn’t what staff are seeing. They’re seeing visas being issued overseas for purposes that people in the UK aren’t allowed to do.”
Lucy Moreton, of the Immigration Services Union, said: “It causes immense distress to Border Force staff to be constantly granting entry to individuals for reasons that would be impermissible for a UK resident. It’s deeply unfair for staff who cannot visit their own family in the UK or abroad who will be fined for doing so from this week to be seeing these numbers of arrivals of people coming to visit family in the UK, let alone go on holiday in the UK.”
Only 1 per cent of arrivals are required to quarantine in a hotel but that number could increase over the coming days given the extra countries added to Britain’s “red list” yesterday. Countries on the banned list include Argentina, Chile, Qatar and South Africa.

All passengers entering the UK must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than three days before departure, regardless of where they came from. They must complete a passenger locator form with an address for their ten-day quarantine on arrival, with fines for those who fail to comply.

From March 8 all passengers coming into the UK have had to carry a form declaring that their trip is permitted under national lockdown rules.
However, Border Force staff said that they did not have the power to deny them entry as long as they had complied with testing and quarantine requirements.

Last night the Home Office said that it did not recognise the figures provided by Border Force staff but was unable to account for why tourists were issued visas for sightseeing purposes such as visiting Big Ben.

Kevin Foster, minister for future borders and immigration, said: “We do not recognise these figures. We are enforcing tough health measures at the border for the small minority of people coming to the UK, including those entering on a visitor visa for legitimate reasons.

“Since January 2021, we have paused all decisions on visitor visas to applicants applying from a ‘red list’ country or where it is apparent an applicant has visited one of those countries in the last ten days. Border Force officers also have the right to refuse entry to any visitor who they believe has travelled to the UK to carry out activities not permitted under current local health restrictions, such as holidays or tourism, or who will not comply with self-isolation and testing requirements.”

Case study
Anonymous border worker
It is pretty grim working on the border at the moment. The number of travellers is reduced but it is really demoralising to see all these people coming and going on holiday, visiting family when we are not supposed to be able to (Matt Dathan writes).
There are “bucket and spade” flights still, organised by mainstream travel companies; UK residents having their two weeks on an island and coming back; 250 coming back from the Canaries a couple of weeks ago. All with their negative tests and addresses to isolate of course, although none of us know if they will.
Then there are those coming from further away to spend a month with family. My family are two hours away and I haven’t seen them in six months. I miss my family so much, but every day I have to grant entry to people from faraway places who are coming to stay with their family. Yes, they have the negative test, the address of their family where they will stay for the required two weeks before moving on to another family member.
Why is it that we are still granting visas for people to come on holiday to the UK? There was one the other week where the traveller had put on the visa application form as their reason for travelling: “To visit Big Ben.”
Really? In a pandemic.
Can't imagine how these new variants are getting in when we're so good at managing our borders.

Must be because we're densely populated
 

Wizaard

Well-known member
Why would anybody currently want to come here for a 2 week holiday!
No pubs, restaurants open. No historical sites, galleries or museums open. Weather is at best average.
Most shops shut.
What could you do apart from a bracing walk each day and then back to your self contained accommodation to cook yourself a meal. Not much of a holiday.
Doesn't sound right to me.
Every public building has a flag on it you can salute
 

BFCGULF

Well-known member
Be careful - proving too many links to the UK could result in a debate with HMRC on your status 👍

Not a resident for tax, have lived and worked abroad for nearly 30 years.

Owning a property / bank account has no bearing on your tax responsibilities.
 

seasideone

Well-known member
Not a resident for tax, have lived and worked abroad for nearly 30 years.

Owning a property / bank account has no bearing on your tax responsibilities.
I am a Singapore tax resident and spend usually about 5days a year in the UK.

The revenue questioned me over house ownership, bank accounts, business interest and stupidly being on the electoral role.

Granted it never progressed but it made me think!
 

EagleDay

Well-known member
How can this be right when we aren't allowed in each others houses ?

Naively I have thought the tightening of restrictions was a ' two way ' process


Thousands of tourists are being let in to the country every day even though the government has tightened restrictions on British people going abroad.

Hundreds are arriving on tourist visas issued by the Home Office, according to Border Force staff.

One visa was granted to a tourist from Peru who said on their application form that the reason for their trip to the UK was to “visit Big Ben”.

Of the roughly 20,000 people arriving every day about 40 per cent, or 8,000, are tourists, according to figures compiled by Border Force staff.

Last Monday the government brought in even tougher restrictions on people who try to leave the UK by introducing £5,000 fines for those who go to an airport with the intention of going abroad on holiday.

The tough penalties, which apply to everyone who lives in the UK, were introduced because there was a fear of a mass exodus over the bank holiday.

One member of Border Force staff said: “There are hundreds upon hundreds of arrivals up and down the UK every day from people who are basically coming here on a two-week holiday. There are no grounds to refuse them — arriving during a pandemic isn’t one of them. As long as they’ve got an address where they say they’ll quarantine, and they’ve completed their pre-departure tests, they’ve got their certificates and everything else, they’ve got means and a return ticket, we’ve got no grounds to refuse them.

“We’re still seeing visas issued overseas for people coming over here for a two-week family holiday and while it is permissible if someone is dying, that isn’t what staff are seeing. They’re seeing visas being issued overseas for purposes that people in the UK aren’t allowed to do.”
Lucy Moreton, of the Immigration Services Union, said: “It causes immense distress to Border Force staff to be constantly granting entry to individuals for reasons that would be impermissible for a UK resident. It’s deeply unfair for staff who cannot visit their own family in the UK or abroad who will be fined for doing so from this week to be seeing these numbers of arrivals of people coming to visit family in the UK, let alone go on holiday in the UK.”
Only 1 per cent of arrivals are required to quarantine in a hotel but that number could increase over the coming days given the extra countries added to Britain’s “red list” yesterday. Countries on the banned list include Argentina, Chile, Qatar and South Africa.

All passengers entering the UK must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken no more than three days before departure, regardless of where they came from. They must complete a passenger locator form with an address for their ten-day quarantine on arrival, with fines for those who fail to comply.

From March 8 all passengers coming into the UK have had to carry a form declaring that their trip is permitted under national lockdown rules.
However, Border Force staff said that they did not have the power to deny them entry as long as they had complied with testing and quarantine requirements.

Last night the Home Office said that it did not recognise the figures provided by Border Force staff but was unable to account for why tourists were issued visas for sightseeing purposes such as visiting Big Ben.

Kevin Foster, minister for future borders and immigration, said: “We do not recognise these figures. We are enforcing tough health measures at the border for the small minority of people coming to the UK, including those entering on a visitor visa for legitimate reasons.

“Since January 2021, we have paused all decisions on visitor visas to applicants applying from a ‘red list’ country or where it is apparent an applicant has visited one of those countries in the last ten days. Border Force officers also have the right to refuse entry to any visitor who they believe has travelled to the UK to carry out activities not permitted under current local health restrictions, such as holidays or tourism, or who will not comply with self-isolation and testing requirements.”

Case study
Anonymous border worker
It is pretty grim working on the border at the moment. The number of travellers is reduced but it is really demoralising to see all these people coming and going on holiday, visiting family when we are not supposed to be able to (Matt Dathan writes).
There are “bucket and spade” flights still, organised by mainstream travel companies; UK residents having their two weeks on an island and coming back; 250 coming back from the Canaries a couple of weeks ago. All with their negative tests and addresses to isolate of course, although none of us know if they will.
Then there are those coming from further away to spend a month with family. My family are two hours away and I haven’t seen them in six months. I miss my family so much, but every day I have to grant entry to people from faraway places who are coming to stay with their family. Yes, they have the negative test, the address of their family where they will stay for the required two weeks before moving on to another family member.
Why is it that we are still granting visas for people to come on holiday to the UK? There was one the other week where the traveller had put on the visa application form as their reason for travelling: “To visit Big Ben.”
Really? In a pandemic.
 

EagleDay

Well-known member
Proving quite a divisive issue in Germany after 40,000 take Easter breaks in Majorca

Up to 40,000 pandemic-weary Germans have headed for Mallorca this weekend in search of sun, sand and sangria as Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly considers overruling regional leaders and imposing a “mega-lockdown” to stem a surge in cases of Covid-19.

Under present restrictions, Germans are barred from holidaying in their homeland, with hotels forbidden since last November from taking tourists. But in a curious quirk in the rules, nothing prevents them from packing their beach towels and flying more than 1,000 miles south to Palma de Mallorca.

In another paradox, residents of mainland Spain are barred from visiting Mallorca or the other Balearic islands because of their own government’s ban on inter-regional travel.

The German exodus has been fuelled by the Berlin government’s decision last month to lift the travel warning it had imposed on the island, where cases of the virus have dropped sharply, meaning Germans are no longer obliged to quarantine on their return home. Tour operators responded by sharply increasing their services: Eurowings, the budget carrier, alone added another 300 flights for this month. Many quickly sold out.

But their departure has provoked much tut-tutting in Germany: commentators have questioned whether it is justified on ethical grounds to go strolling in the sun while everyone else back home is suffering. Television reporters have been dispatched to ask holidaymakers to justify their behaviour.

One, named only as Marcel, 30, from Saarlouis in southwest Germany, interviewed as he walked along a near-deserted Mallorcan beach with his girlfriend, said he had been bombarded with messages from friends on Facebook and Instagram asking how he could “allow himself” to travel to the island. He insisted he was doing nothing wrong. “We were all tested negative before we were allowed on the plane and here we are practising social distancing,” he said. “I don’t know what could be safer.”

Questions have nevertheless been asked about the wisdom of allowing people to fly off to the sun, when new cases of Covid-19 in Germany are passing 20,000 a day — compared with 8,000 or so a month ago. Merkel has been arguing in recent weeks for a toughening of what is already a fairly strict lockdown, but has been facing resistance from leaders of some of the Länder, the federal states, which are in charge of public health policy.

This weekend has been portrayed as decisive. In a video address on Thursday evening, the chancellor urged Germans to consider the strain on doctors and nurses and help them by respecting restrictions. “There needs to be a quiet Easter festival,” she said. “I urgently ask you to refrain from all non-urgent travel [and] that we all consistently follow the rules.”

Bild, the popular tabloid, claimed Merkel was considering pulling the “emergency brake” and imposing a “mega-lockdown” that would include school closures and nationwide curfews — possibly even during the day. Trying to do so risks taking her into uncharted constitutional territory if some state leaders continue to object.

Among those resisting her has been Armin Laschet, the state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, who was elected in January as federal leader of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and was thought to be her choice to become chancellor when she steps down at this September’s elections.

Lockdown measures are being tightened across Europe amid fears that travel and greater social mingling over the long Easter weekend could add further force to a third wave of Covid sweeping through the Continent. The problem is exacerbated by the low numbers vaccinated across the EU.

In France, a “light” lockdown already in place in 19 departments, including Paris, was from yesterday extended to the whole country for at least four weeks, with schools closed until April 26. President Emmanuel Macron, who had been resisting calls to clamp down, was left with little choice but to act as the number of new infections reported surged to 40,000 a day.

The whole of Italy, meanwhile, has been classified “red” — meaning the highest level of restrictions — for three days, with all non-essential movement banned. Other countries have also tightened their rules.

Amid such gloom, an Easter influx of free-spending Germans has been welcomed by the hard-pressed hoteliers and restaurateurs of Mallorca, who have long been dependent on tourists flying in from Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. The island has become such a holiday institution among German holidaymakers that it is jokingly referred to as the republic’s “17th state”.

The numbers heading south are still only a fraction, though, of the millions who make the trip in normal times: beaches that are normally packed at this time of year were this weekend just dotted with holidaymakers, while compulsory closure of bars and restaurants at 5pm has put the dampeners on the island’s usually lively night life.

Mallorca’s hotel association said only 13 per cent of its establishments were open.
Just another one of the reasons why people are becoming increasingly cynical and rebellious. All the way through there has been no consistency or logic.
 

Lost Seasider

Well-known member
How can this be right when we aren't allowed in each others houses ?

First thoughts: none of this sounds remotely plausible.

From your post, this:

Kevin Foster, minister for future borders and immigration, said: “We do not recognise these figures. We are enforcing tough health measures at the border for the small minority of people coming to the UK, including those entering on a visitor visa for legitimate reasons.


sounds more plausible.

I mean realistically, exactly who is going to want to visit on holiday in April in the middle of a pandemic when everything is closed?

Sounds like the unions playing politics as usual
 

TwelveAngryMen

Well-known member
Quite a lot will claim to be visiting family I suspect
The fact is you can travel and it would seem the rules on entry don't prevent it - if they do that flies in the face of the article which was in today's Times
It also seems the vast majority aren't having to quarantine in hotels
As I sad above how can that be justified when we can't step inside anyone else's house ?
 
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BobHatton

Well-known member
Even at the height of the pandemic we had Asian tourists popping up everywhere in Oz and we were all dumbfounded as to how they got in. In November last year we had a trip up North (in our own State Queensland) and came across two Koreans on a tourist attraction. Even the event organiser asked them where they were from and how they got there! Of course, when asked, they didn't speak English...
 

Davepick

Well-known member
How is it that, although the Borders are supposed to be closed, we get loads of boats carrying refugees across the Channel, and landing in the UK?
How many borders have they crossed before they reached the French Channel coast?
 
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seasideone

Well-known member
I know someone who recently (two weeks ago) went on holiday to Mexico for a week, after making up the fact it was about business.

I was not amused 😒

I am guessing similar things happen the other way to!
 
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