It is absurd not to recognise vaccines given abroad

Re the letters that you published (The UK’s illogical quarantine rules must be changed, 13 luglio), I am a consultant general physician and gastroenterologist who has studied, trained, practised and researched in Germany and the UK between 1985 e 2020. I moved my residence back to Germany in 2015. I was fully vaccinated in February this year in Germany with BioNTech/Pfizer. I now hold a five-year “border worker permit” as my residence remains in my native Germany. Nel mese di giugno, I was asked to work as a locum consultant gastroenterologist in Luton, initially for a few months. The German government waived my duty to quarantine (then in place) as they would give me exempt status on the grounds that I was needed to staff a British hospital. tuttavia, the British government insists on self-isolation for 10 days on each arrival to the UK, making it impossible for me to take up the position as intended. I am contacted every day by at least one UK agency about multiple vacancies at consultancy level.

I fail to see the bigger plan of the British government at this juncture. Can you please help me understand their reasoning?
Dr Bernard Kaskas
Leipzig, Germany

There appears to be no rhyme or reason to the travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people entering the UK from amber list countries. This illogical approach doesn’t just mean that some fully vaccinated non-resident travellers have to isolate or quarantine for five to 10 giorni, but they also have to incur additional costs of repeated tests when their chances of testing positive are minuscule. They are certainly no more likely to test positive than returning residents. The end result is that many of us (dual nationals and expats) can’t visit because of time constraints on our travel. If we have only two weeks to travel and need to spend 10 days in quarantine, it means only two or three days to visit those we love.

I lived in the UK and worked in the NHS as a nurse for 25 years and am British. I now live in the US, but my family ties are in the UK. My last visit to the UK was at the beginning of last year. On my return I tested positive for Covid. Since then, I have tested negative on a number of occasions, and have been fully vaccinated since February. One reason that is given for the reluctance to let fully vaccinated US residents visit the UK without quarantine is said to be because each of the 50 states have their own approaches to vaccine record-keeping. I have an official vaccination card, my vaccines are in a state database, and the CDC has information about my vaccines that I can access electronically. There is no ambiguity in that.

One of the family members I visit regularly in the UK was 101 years old when I saw him in March last year. He has since had two birthdays and is now 103 Anni. Am I to be denied being able to visit him because my vaccine record isn’t in the same format as his? Have I seen him for the last time?

This illogical approach isn’t just a bad economic decision, it’s heart-wrenching and cruel on so many levels.
Barbara Beck
San Antonio, Texas, US

UK quarantine rules are not only illogical but also don’t follow the government’s own guidelines.

I am an Italian who has worked in the UK for five years in a high level role in the NHS in London. I changed my job in December 2020, and had a four-month interval before restarting working in the UK.

During this time I opted to work in Italy as an A&E radiographer to help a local hospital dealing with a surge in Covid cases.

I had the opportunity to have a Covid vaccine in December and I asked my GP if I should have the vaccine there or wait until I came back to UK. The answer was to take the opportunity and get vaccinated, so I did.

When back in UK in April, I sent my vaccination proof in English to my GP to have it registered in my NHS file. The answer was that it was impossible. I called the NHS app support and the operator literally laughed at my request.

Now I find out that I do not have the same rights as people vaccinated in UK, just because I followed the advice of my GP, which was in line with what the government was recommending at the time.

It is ridiculous, biased and discriminatory.
Giorgio Testanera

We live in France, are British and have received both doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

If we fly from Paris to London in the company of holidaying English friends, also vaccinated, we must endure 10 days of enforced quarantine while they can go out for the evening.

Of course, this makes no sense. It becomes more than frustrating when our visit is to provide support for a 94-year-old parent living alone.

This quarantine idiocy places severe limitations on our usefulness to Mum. We cannot shop for her. We cannot take her out.

While our political leaders play games with the recognition of each other’s handwriting on a vaccine certificate, it would be wonderful if those who are vaccinated and trying to provide humanitarian support could be given exemption from quarantine.
Lynne and Dermot Keenan
St Martin d’Uriage, France

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