How do UK COVID restrictions compare globally?

Despite the varying slogans thought up by the UK government, many travellers thought the UK COVID proposals exceeded reality.

In March 2020 Boris Johnson declared that England would go into lockdown.

The devolved nations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland also went into lockdown, kicking off a series of social restrictions.

Leaving the house was illegal and people were forced to work from home unless they were unable.

Live shows were forced to close their curtains and many businesses were forced to close.

Since then, restrictions have varied in strictness, resulting in UK rules being unfavourably compared to those in other countries.

37 year-old Chudi Okudo from Liverpool was affected by the changes made to the ‘Red List’ after making plans to travel to Nigeria.

He said/: “The restrictions on travel have been awful. Having to spend money on PCR tests each time you travel is financially draining.

“I really can’t wait for all the travel restrictions and precautions to end so that people can move around freely and live normal lives again.”

Nigeria was added to the England red list on 6 December, only for all countries to be removed from the red list nine days later, causing difficulty for many people.

Okudo, who has since returned with his wife and daughter from their trip to Nigeria, said of the restrictions: “I would say the only difference is that precautions are not taken seriously in Nigeria.

“During the lockdown, masks and social distancing were enforced but as soon as the doors were opened all precautions went out the window.”

He believes the UK population has done well to continue wearing masks and adhere to COVID-19 rules.

Antonella Tamburello, 29, South London, travelled to Cancun, Mexico with her partner before Christmas for 12 days. They travelled before the height of the Omicron variant, which has been described as milder but more transmissible.

Tamburello said: “In Mexico, I was surprised at how serious COVID was taken by the locals – there was a big respect and fear of COVID.

“In Mexico, everyone wore masks, even outside.”

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When comparing the restrictions in the UK and Mexico, Tamburello believed the Mexican restrictions to be better than those in the UK.

She said: “Right now, I think the precautions the UK has in place are ridiculous.

“We are seeing a record in the numbers of COVID cases and yet there is no lockdown.

“People were encouraged to have work Christmas parties. I would say Mexico is dealing with it better than the UK.”

She explained how COVID has affected her life in both positive and negative ways: “I now work fully remote at home, which is something I really enjoy.

“However it has also made me more cautious about socialising and travelling around London. I am extremely cautious whenever I now travel on the tube and more conscious of personal space.

“I’m also more likely to use an Uber or Bolt.”

Tamburello suggested that the rules could be improved.

She suggested clearer information about the PCR tests and Day Two Lateral Flow tests upon returning from holiday, and reminders sent about when to do them.

Hiske Maartens, 67, retired, also had her travel affected by coronavirus restrictions and rules.

Maartens, from Arnhem, Netherlands, who travels to the UK a few times a year to see her children, was at first unable to.

She said that COVID-19 has been very divisive in the Netherlands, explaining: “There is aggressive polarisation amongst people, and everyone seems to be an expert.”

When asked about the difference in attitudes towards COVID between the Netherlands and the UK, Maartens said: “On the ferry to the UK it was very relaxed, but there were fewer people on it than usual.

“The tests are very expensive – why does money need to be made from everything? But it’s nice that people are wearing masks.

“Arriving in the UK in the Summer though, I thought, “the marketing in the UK is better than the product.”

Photo by CDC from Pexels

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