Travellers cancel Poland plans as country removed from quarantine exemption list

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A concert pianist said the decision to remove Poland from the UK’s quarantine-exemption list will see him lose thousands of pounds.

Tomasz Lis was due to perform in the country on Sunday, but has since cancelled his plans following Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ announcement on Thursday.

The 43-year-old, who moved to the UK from Poland 23 years ago, said the decision will lose him £3,000, along with the cost of flights.

He added that his company Bespoke Tour, a travel firm offering tailored trips to Poland, will also lose “a very substantial amount” of custom in what has already been a trying year.

Mr Lis, who lives in London, told the PA news agency: “We haven’t really had any serious bookings since March… we managed a few during summer and now it’s all vanishing again.

“It’s been an impossible year already and the Government would do much better by checking temperature at the airports, for instance, and test people who may have it rather than introduce those absurd rules.

“The way they are announced is unacceptable for the simple reason that we have no idea what’s coming… booking any holiday is an absolute lottery.

“I don’t see any point of offering clients any holidays until January unless they can take the risk of staying home for two weeks upon their return.”

Poland, along with Turkey and the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, were all removed from the Government’s list of safe travel corridors.

The seven-day rate of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Poland is now at 25.9, increasing from 15.6 in the previous week.

A seven-day rate of 20 new cases per 100,000 people is the threshold above which the UK Government considers triggering quarantine conditions.

Figures have been calculated by the PA news agency, based on data collected by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Mr Shapps said that travellers arriving from all five destinations after 4am on Saturday October 3 will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Meanwhile, digital advertising analyst Sarita Parto, who lives in Hammersmith, west London, had been due to travel to Krakow in Poland on Thursday evening, but decided to cancel her trip following the announcement.

The 29-year-old Australian, who is on a two-year work visa in the UK, told PA: “Straight away (after hearing the news) I felt my heart sink and I thought ‘there goes another trip cancelled’, and I did shed a tear.

“It’s not like anyone is telling me not to go, but I’d feel a bit guilty if I was there having a good time, while people were getting sick and dying.

“I’m trying to put my heartbreak into perspective.”

Ms Parto said it was her fifth trip to mainland Europe cancelled this year due to coronavirus, adding that she would lose £70 from the cost of the flight to Poland.

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