les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Travel to the UK ...

 It's more than two years since we set foot on UK soil. This is actually quite normal for people who work overseas. Very often people spend four years away before coming back for a year's "home assignment". But our pattern has been to spend a couple of weeks each year in Britain. Until covid came.

For reasons I won't go into, Gwilym and Beth are unable to travel to France, so they missed both Catrin and Froim's civil and church weddings. So we plan(ned) to travel to the UK to spend Christmas with them in Norwich. However that was until omicron arrived.

The UK government is under huge pressure firstly to take action to stem the rising tide of omicron infections, but also not to cancel Christmas. So I think it's unlikely that the UK will go under any kind of further restrictions until Boxing Day at least. But we're not due to fly back until New Year's Eve.

Then European countries are shutting their borders and putting in strict controls on who can travel to the UK and for what reason. The guidelines were published and Brits in France started cancelling their trips.

When I read the guidelines they said things like "Foreigners are allowed to travel to their country of origin". and "French residents are allowed to return to France". I fulfil these criteria. I asked in a Facebook forum to check whether my understanding was correct and got shot down in flames for "wanting things both ways". Meanwhile it dawned on me slowly that Froim's country of origin is not in fact the UK, so could he come to England with us anyway? 

On Saturday the French government published the forms to fill in to travel. They say that "Foreigners are allowed to travel to their country of origin, along with thier conjoint (married, civil partnership or concubinage). (In France we call a shovel a shovel.)

However, reports come in of lots of people being refused entry to their UK flights or - even worse - flying from the UK to France, then being sent back on arrival. One family of colleagues who work in Asia arrived in the UK, took their mandatory day two test and found they were all covid positive, so now they are quarantining away from the family they came to see. If we get stuck in the UK this would be disastrous.

The voice of desire and affection tells me that it will all be OK and we should fly.

The voice of reason tells me that now is not the time and Christmas must be postponed till Easter.  

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