Coronavirus: 'Quarantine lifting gives us quality family time'

Stansted Airport sign

Airports are slowly emerging from an enforced Covid-19 hibernation. With 14-day quarantine rules set to be eased from many countries next Friday, BBC News spoke to passengers at Stansted Airport.

'My partner's daughter can see her mum when we get back'

Katie Batt
Image caption Katie Batt, who is 21 weeks pregnant, has been furloughed from her job at Eurostar

Katie Batt is expecting a tearful reunion with her family, which has grown since she last saw them at Christmas in La Mouche, France.

"I can't wait, I've been really missing them. I would have gone out in March, April and June, but I've not been able to.

"My sister had a baby in March - it will be emotional."

The 26-year-old is 21 weeks pregnant and has been spending time gardening and "not doing much at all" at home in Maidstone, Kent, while furloughed from her job at Eurostar.

As such, two weeks of quarantine would not directly impact her, but it does mean her partner and his daughter can join her in France in a week's time, before she returns to the UK later this month.

"We have been waiting for quarantine to be lifted, so when we get back to the UK she can still see her mum without any problems.

"It's so nice that we can all go and have some quality time together."

'It's a relief knowing we won't spend two weeks in our flat'

Thomas Candelaresi and Adelie Revolle
Image caption Thomas Candelaresi and Adelie Revolle are looking forward to enjoying a London summer on their return

Thomas Candelaresi, 28, and 25-year-old girlfriend Adelie Revolle are travelling back to France to spend three weeks with family they have not seen since Christmas.

"It was hard to live in an 30m square apartment; two of us have been working from home since March," said Miss Rovelle.

"It's a relief knowing when we come back on 26 July we don't have to spend two weeks in August at home when everyone will be out," said Mr Candelaresi, a developer.

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"Hug them," said Miss Revolle, smiling beneath her face mask.

"Family time - a nice lunch."

"After all that time we don't need much more than that," added her boyfriend.

'My brother's decision to fly home depended on this'

Martina Rosso
Image caption Martina Rosso said her brother, who works in retail, could now travel home to Italy without worrying about his return to the UK

Martina Rosso was able to work from home in south London during lockdown, and could have continued to do so on her return from Palermo, Italy had quarantine still been in place.

"I'm in a privileged position, it's less of an obstacle for me but I am aware it affects the majority of people," said the 33-year-old, who works in advertising.

"My brother wanted to see the family, but as he doesn't work remotely, he didn't have the chance to.

"He is in retail in the UK, so if he was quarantined he wouldn't be paid for the 14 days. People who can't work from home, it really affects them."

Her brother, who she said was "watching the news every day", was now planning to fly out in mid-July.

"Not knowing when you can see [family], it can be tough," she said.

"His decision depended on this."

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At the scene

Phil Shepka, BBC News

Having been here last month on the day mandatory 14-day quarantine for passengers coming into the UK was announced, the difference in the airport is remarkable.

On 8 June, it had a distinct ghost town feel to it, but now it seems people are more ready to travel, with queues forming and people milling around the terminal.

The vast majority are wearing a face covering in the terminal and those not travelling are being asked to remain outside.

There are also stations to sanitise your hands, and while you'd usually see a vending machine full of sugary treats, you can now use it to get your mask and hand sanitiser before your trip.

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'It wouldn't make sense to quarantine after being in a country with fewer cases'

Paolo Melissa
Image caption Paolo Melissa said he would 'keep a safe distance' from his family in Sardinia

As a radiographer at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Paolo Melissa was exempt from quarantine restrictions.

He was finding it "quite exciting" to see his family in Sardinia for the first time since Christmas.

"It's a nice place to be in the summer and working for NHS, I've been working through all this period," said the 37-year-old, who lives in Coventry.

"Sardinia is a low risk region, so I shouldn't see why I should isolate coming back to a place with more cases than where I'm going.

"If I did have to isolate I would use the time to refresh my knowledge."

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