A DREAM holiday has become a source of stress and confusion for one woman due to government guidance.

When Margaret Galley, from Tow Law, booked a summer vacation for her family in Portugal In February for August she could not have predicted the chain of world events. From the Covid lockdown and the announcements of air bridges, to quarantine, this has become one big headache for her and her family.

Portugal has just over 50,000 confirmed coronavirus and is not part of the air bridge scheme, however flights are still available. Unfortunately, to curb the spread of the virus, holidaymakers have been made to quarantine themselves for 14 days when they come back from certain countries, including Portugal.

Mrs Galley was originally told that because there is no foreign and commonwealth restrictions and flights were still running and could not cancel her holiday. Despite the government advising against travel to countries not part of the air bridge scheme the holiday could still go ahead on August 3. However, the information was updated on Tuesday July 28, six days before the flight, when the Foreign and Commonwealth Office changed their advice against all but essential international travel to Portugal.

Mrs Galley said: “We were having to travel against the government advice, it seemed like they were contradicting themselves. There was obviously no mention of quarantine in February when we booked it and we could not have predicted what was going to happen.”

Mrs Galley was unable to quarantine due to her job as a foster carer, and tried to get the holiday moved to the same time next year but the travel agent said that would cost an extra £700 on top of their £4,000 holiday. The extra cost was because Mrs Galley’s daughter turns 13 next year.

The holiday was booked through Stanhope travel which was contacted for a comment. They said that everything is going to be sorted after the announcement by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Stanhope Travel have applied for a refund voucher for the holiday, this has to be used by March 31 2021, no cash refund will be offered until after this date.

Mrs Galley has some advice for those thinking about booking a holiday abroad this summer, she said: “Don’t book until you are 100 per cent certain it can go ahead. Things can change in a drop of a hat and your insurance might not cover you, you really have to do your research."

“I won’t be booking anything abroad until next year, I would recommend going on holiday in England. There is a lot of stress and disappointment that isn’t worth it.”