An expat from Lancashire has denounced the UK government for “passing the buck” when it comes to allowing fully vaccinated Britons to return to the UK.
Dan and Victoria Croft emigrated to Canada last July in what was a two-year move in planning – and one that has been put at risk even of occurring due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The couple took the step after the first lockdown in a “now or never” jump, Dan said, with the two having given up their professional jobs and sold their home before the pandemic.
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But now Dan and Victoria feel unable to travel from Hamilton, Ontario to Lancashire, with Dan in particular wishing to visit his elderly father with him living alone during the pandemic.
It is because of the current government travel policy which places Canada on the orange list. This means everyone – including fully vaccinated British expats – must self-quarantine for 10 days before doing whatever they want to do.
But from July 19 and the official end of England’s third lockdown, a fully vaccinated UK resident traveling to an Amber List country like Canada will not have to self-quarantine upon return.
Dan is also a witness at a friend’s wedding in September, so he can’t wait to return to Lancashire for it.
Dan, who grew up in Thornton-Cleveleys before living in Adlington, near Chorley, said: âI just want to see my dad in Thornton-Cleveleys. Victoria just wants to see her family in Chorley.
“We accept that it’s always very different with us living where we live, but we haven’t thought of a situation like this. My dad is 70 and I really want to see him.”
Dan, 38, added that the “most contradictory” part of the current “arbitrary” policy is that from July 19, “I could be on a flight from Canada to the UK but I will have to put in quarantine for 10 days while a Briton residing on the same flight could do whatever they want â.
Regarding the quarantine period, Dan said those of working age “just don’t get annual leave for 10 days of quarantine and then a public holiday.”
âUnless you’re retired or can afford to take those extra weeks, that’s not possible,â he said.
Additionally, since Dan is no longer a UK resident, he cannot use the NHS app to prove that he has received two doses of Pfizer despite documents confirming this from his provincial government in Ontario.
Dan approached Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, Health Secretary Sajid Javid and his former Lancashire MP, Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle, about the situation. He also contacted the Canadian government.
He said that so far his only response has come from the Ministry of Transport which told him to contact the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
âI just got the standard push from the Department of Transportation saying to contact the Department of Health, which I had done anyway,â Dan said.
“One just sent the ball back to the other here.
âIt’s so infuriating. In Canada there are over 600,000 expats alone and many of them want to go home and see families. And as tourists, they will participate in the economy in the cities. hotels and restaurants, but we can’t.
“Of course, the wedding would be nice to go, but it’s just about my dad.
“There were 67,000 unmasked people at Wembley for the Euro 2020 final but I can’t see my dad. I want football stadiums as full as the next person but I feel like it ‘ is a punch in the stomach for every expat who wants to come home safely.
“It’s not like Canada is a banana republic with political unease and hesitation with the vaccine.”
In Canada, 77.67% of those over 12 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
During the first national lockdown in England, Dan was forced into a managerial position at Tesco in Chorley after already giving up his professional job to move to Canada. He and Victoria, 35, also had to live with Victoria’s mother after selling their home before the big move was temporarily put on hold.
âDad was vulnerable so I would go to him to get him some food from Tesco so he didn’t have to go out,â Dan said.
âWe made the choice to go overseas. But not being able to come back without quarantine after two jabs doesn’t make sense.
“I’m not trying to say that we have suffered tremendously, but when you’ve been following the rules for a year and a half and received your blows, you deserve to be able to catch the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said last week that detailed plans to allow vaccinated people from overseas to enter the UK without quarantine could be revealed in the near future.
Mr Shapps said the government was “actively working” on what might happen next for those who have had injections outside the UK and how they may soon be exempt from 10 days of quarantine.
He described the impending announcement as part of “phase two” of the country’s international travel policy.
Mr Shapps told Sky News: âThe next thing is being able to recognize apps from other countries or certification from other countries – easier to do from some places like the EU where they have a digital app. coming up to the US where I think they have 50 different systems, one for each state, mostly on paper.
âSo there are some complexities to overcome there, but this is the first phase, and we hope to follow it quickly with double-vaccinated people from other countries coming here.
“Obviously we will be looking at whether they are certified by the World Health Organization and others and I think in terms of timing, in the next two weeks I can introduce myself and say more about other places in the world. “
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