A British mother has been left furious after spending almost €1,000 to change her family’s flight home from Portugal after she expected it to be removed from England’s ‘safe’ to travel list.
KELLY, from Birmingham, ‘coughed up the dosh’ to move her family’s flight home a day early from the Algarve in Portugal to Friday instead of Saturday. The 45-year-old said she made the decision to avoid having to self-isolate upon arrival in England because she totally expected Portugal to be added to the exemption list after a rise in coronavirus cases. She didn’t want herself and her family to be involved in a frantic rush to get back to the UK as seen in France recently and other countries recently.
Mother of three, Kelly, accused the UK government of “moving the goalposts left, right and centre” after it announced the air bridge with Portugal would remain in place.
On Thursday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had defied all expectations by announcing there would be no changes in England to quarantine rules for people returning from countries. As reported earlier by the EWN, Wales and Scotland made their own decisions, adding Greece and Portugal to the quarantine list, apart from popular holiday destinations in Croatia and even French Polynesia and Gibraltar.
However, Kelly said the situation was “absolutely disgusting,” adding: “It’s cost us a lot more money and it’s money we didn’t need to spend now. We’ve lost an extra night in our villa – we won’t get that back – we’ve got a hire car, so we’re taking that back a day early. It’s the knock-on effects as well.”
She went on to say: “The government just change the goalposts left, right and centre at the moment. It’s embarrassing. They don’t make things clear enough. They say they need the rate under 20 and it’s gone above that this week, so why wouldn’t you think it would go on the quarantine list tonight? You can guarantee if I hadn’t have booked those flights on Monday, that air bridge would have been removed tonight.”
She also said she did not want to risk having to self-isolate upon their return to Birmingham as her youngest four-year-old is starting school for the first time next week, while her other two children, seven and 11, are starting new schools.
“There’s no way it would be fair on them two weeks later to go in when everyone else has already started to settle. It’s always lastminute.com with the government,” she said. “They do the announcement on a Thursday night and then you’ve got till four o’clock on a Saturday morning to get home, which they know you can’t do.”
Still fuming, she continued to say: “They don’t give you enough time to do anything. They could have said at the start of the week ‘the numbers are going up but we’re going to sit on it for another seven to 10 days’ but they don’t do that. It’s like, ‘we make the decision at five o’clock on a Thursday night and that’s it: bang, get home’. That’s where it’s wrong!”