NHS worker who had Covid twice left disappointed after holiday plans complicated

An NHS worker who recovered from Covid-19 twice has been left disappointed after finding out Portugal will be added to the UK’s amber travel list, leading to extra costs for her holiday.

Janice Darling, who has been a site manager for the Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for 21 years, is due to fly to Portugal on Friday for a holiday with her friends.

The 59-year-old – who had Covid-19 twice – and her friends have decided to press on with their trip, but they will now have to isolate upon their return.

They have purchased Test to Release tests in an effort to shorten their isolation period, but that would still see Mrs Darling using five days of annual leave.

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“I had Covid in March last year and spent time in intensive care,” Mrs Darling told the PA news agency.

“I got better and returned to work in my job in the NHS and worked tirelessly, believing the Government were doing the best they could.

“Now I just feel it’s a shambles. Why is it so hard for me to go on a well-earned break?”

Mrs Darling, from Welwyn Garden City, also has type two diabetes and said: “Being ill was frightening and has had long-term effects,” adding “before I had Covid I had not taken a day off sick in 12 years”.

Her friends were left feeling “very upset” at the prospect of having to cancel their holiday, which they booked around eight weeks ago.

Mrs Darling rang EasyJet to ask about cancelling and was offered credit, but said “we have put parents into respite care at a cost of £2,000 so it’s just not possible to afford to go away again.

“Plus we have spent £480 on pre-departure tests this week.

“We have no choice.”

Mrs Darling said she had been aware things could change, but said “having no warning is just not (on).”