Cornwall Question Mark

The United Kingdom released its revised pandemic travel restrictions today, and they don’t help us at all! We’re planning an October trip to Britain — specifically southern Wales, Cornwall, and a few other spots in southwestern England. When we booked, we knew the U.K. had travel restrictions in place, requiring Americans to quarantine for ten days on arrival and pass covid-19 tests. We can’t quarantine, so we were prepared to cancel if the restrictions weren’t loosened in time. We thought that would happen, but the new, more contagious Delta variant of the virus is rampant in the U.K., so despite steady progress with vaccinations, case numbers are up.

Today was the day that changes in travel restrictions were due to be released. I was hoping the U.S. would be moved from the “amber” to the “green” list of countries, or that the quarantine requirement for amber countries would allow a waiver for fully vaccinated people. Now the modified restrictions are out, and neither of those things happened. There is a vaccination waiver, but only for people who got their shots in the U.K.’s vaccination program. So unless the rules change again, we would still be required to quarantine.

Yesterday, I lined up the last hotel I needed — we’re booked at a castle in Somerset for a few days — and I already had booked a few nights at Doc Martin’s house and surgery in Cornwall (yes, the TV doctor’s house is a guesthouse you can rent!) and at a lovely small inn in Penzance. And I had us scheduled at a rather boring airport hotel for the final night, so we can get to the airport quickly in the morning and return our rental car before flying out.

And now I’m afraid I’ll have to cancel them all, and re-book for next spring or summer. I’ve checked the availability of Doc Martin’s house, and I should be able to find a 2022 time slot we can have — except that the prices next year are so much higher than this year! I think I may have gotten a deal this fall because the covid travel slowdown; I don’t think I’ll be able to afford next year’s prices.

We’re not ready to give up yet, but in another month or so, if the quarantine rule has not lifted and U.K. covid cases are still up, we may very well have to postpone the whole thing. And I was so looking forward to it.

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