Quarantine relaxation ends ‘sad and scary’ time for separated families

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The relaxation of quarantine rules in England will bring a “sad” and “scary” time to an end for people whose families live overseas, according to one young mother.

Dr Alix Dietzel, a lecturer from Bristol, has close family members in Austria, where she was brought up, as well as in Switzerland, France and the United States – and seeing them has been largely impossible during the pandemic.

New rules being introduced on Monday mean those who are fully vaccinated against Covid will not have to quarantine when arriving in England from the US, the EU and a number of other countries including Switzerland, making travel much easier.

Dr Dietzel, 33, told PA: “I’m relieved – it’s been a long time and I wasn’t sure when we’d be able to see each other again.

“Although we’re used to being apart, we see each other a few times a year normally.

“So not being able to travel is quite sad and sometimes scary, especially in an unpredictable pandemic.”

“My sister lives in Switzerland and is planning to come see me in August,” she said.

“I have a 20-month-old daughter she has only met once.

“It makes me sad, my family has missed so much of her life.”

Dr Dietzel will not be heading overseas to visit families herself because her daughter is too young to get vaccinated.

She herself will get her second jab on August 9.

“I am the last of my siblings to be fully vaccinated so I don’t know what the hold up was, not letting fully vaccinated people travel more freely,” she said.

“It seemed discriminatory to exclude people not vaccinated by the NHS. They’re the same vaccines.”

Travellers will have to take a test before departure and again within two days of their arrival.

Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Andorra, Vatican City and Monaco are also subject to the new rules – though France is excluded and travellers entering the country from there will still need to quarantine.

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments have announced they will follow suit with relaxations of their own quarantine rules for fully vaccinated people.

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