A Briton who is getting married in the Czech Republic on Saturday said 30 guests had to leave before the wedding to avoid quarantine changes in the UK.
Oliver, who did not give his last name, says many of his friends and family – including his sister – had to return home before the wedding in Prague because they cannot isolate themselves due to of work constraints.
Travelers arriving in the UK from the Czech Republic – as well as Switzerland and Jamaica – after Saturday’s 4:00 a.m. BST deadline must be quarantined for 14 days, according to announced coronavirus travel rules Thursday evening.
“I have about thirty guests and my little sister, who is a bridesmaid, is distraught to have to go home this evening before the wedding (she is a teacher)”, the young woman of 38, from of Kent, told the Press Association news agency.
After saying “tearful goodbye” to his family who had to return home early, he says he and his fiancee Andrea, 33, barely slept and found themselves “emotionally exhausted” before their wedding.
Oliver and Andrea, originally from the Czech city of Pardubice, have already called off their marriage twice due to pregnancy after getting engaged for the first time four years ago.
The couple had booked their third driveway attempt for August before the lockdown and told guests the ceremony would take place after the Czech Republic was put on the UK’s safe travel lanes list in July.
Several of Oliver’s family members had recently withdrawn from the newly planned wedding due to their age and poor health, which he said “was a shame but understandable.”
Oliver, who has lived in the Czech Republic for 11 years, says the British government’s ‘arbitrary’ decision-making has left the couple and their family ‘in tears before what is supposed to be the best day of their lives’.
He says he and Andrea arranged their wedding because they believed the Czech government had “done very well” in controlling the virus and easing restrictions, so the rule change came as a shock.
After an “incredibly stressful” week, Oliver believes the government “should do more to communicate with people ahead of time.”
But for now, he’s grateful that some friends and his immediate family – minus his sister – are agreeing to quarantine to attend his wedding.
The Czech Republic was removed from the UK’s list of safe travel corridors after the government cited data that the country saw the number of weekly cases per 100,000 drop from 16.2 on August 20 to 20 , 2 Thursday.
The country sees more than 300,000 British tourists each year, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The capital Prague is a popular destination for city breaks and bachelor parties.