Travel changes mar Briton’s Czech wedding as 30 guests race to beat quarantine

A Briton getting married in Prague on Saturday has said almost 30 of his friends and family have had to leave before the wedding due to new travel restrictions.

Travellers arriving in the UK from the Czech Republic after 4am on Saturday will need to quarantine for 14 days, in a rule change announced late on Thursday night.

Oliver, who did not wish to share his second name, is originally from Kent but has lived in the Czech Republic for 11 years.

Many of his family and friends have had to leave before the wedding takes place as they cannot quarantine when they return because of work constraints.

“I’m down about 30 guests and my little sister, who is a bridesmaid, is distraught at having to fly home tonight before the wedding (she is a teacher),” the 38-year-old told the PA news agency.

“We have not slept much for the past few days and are exhausted emotionally leading up to the wedding.

“We have just said a tearful goodbye to family who are having to leave before the wedding today at great expense.

“It leaves me even more angry at the UK leadership (or lack of) than before.

“Where is their explanation of the decision-making? It’s arbitrary, random and has simply left a couple and a family here in tears before what is supposed to be the best day of their lives.”

Coronavirus – Fri Aug 21, 2020
Coronavirus – Fri Aug 21, 2020

Oliver and his fiancee Andrea, 34, who is from the Czech city of Pardubice, have already cancelled their wedding twice due to pregnancy, having become engaged four years ago.

Their third attempt at the ceremony was booked for August before lockdown, and the couple eventually confirmed to guests that it would go ahead after the Czech Republic was put on the UK’ Government’s list of air bridge destinations in July.

“We decided to go ahead when the Czech Republic had done very well controlling the virus and relaxing many of the restrictions,” Oliver said.

A number of Oliver’s family members had pulled out of the newly-planned wedding in recent months due to age and ill-health, which he said “was a shame but understandable”.

“However this last week has been incredibly stressful … thankfully some friends and my immediate family, minus my sister, are accepting quarantine,” he said.

“(The rule change) was not expected and the Government should do more to communicate to people in advance,” he added.

Under the new rules, travellers from Switzerland and Jamaica will also need to quarantine if they arrive after 4am on Saturday.