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Holiday - how it went....


Phill

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This is not a boast about how I have had a break in the sun but a quick run down that might help others make a decision about whether they want to or not.

We booked five nights in Barcelona with EasyJet. Spain is an amber country (at the moment) and as we are both double vaxxed we were able to treat it as a green country. That means no self isolation upon return but with a Covid PCR test on or before day 2 of return to the UK.

We were supposed to have gone away back in June but that didn't happen due to the rule changes on Portugal. However, as part of that we had booked our Day 2 home/mail away tests (£60 each). Of course we didn't need it but it was valid for a year so no problem.

So, off to Spain. We filled out the Spanish FCR passenger locator form before going. Easy peasy on line. Downloaded the form (and screen shotted for belt and braces) as well as printed it off. Also, downloaded from the NHS our double vax travel certificate, also screen shotted and printed off.

Off to the airport. It was very quiet at Gatwick and we whizzed through. We had to show our Spanish FCR form and double vax certificate to EasyJet staff to get on the plane. The plane even took off early!!

Arrival in Spain was simple too. They are well organised and we scanned our Spanish FCR forms as well as showing our NHS double vax forms.

Once at our hotel we asked about getting a PCR test for return to the UK. As it turns out the Antigen tests are way above the minimum specifications required by the UK so the hotel booked those for us (50 euros each). At the allotted time we went to the clinic which was a short Metro ride away. There was a short queue and we then had our tests. Single nostril only, job done. We were provided with a QR code to get our results and certificate. An hour later results in, certificate downloaded and screen shotted. Both negative :). For me, the days before the test and waiting for the test and the result were reasonably stressful, not knowing if we would be able to go home as planned.

Next, 48 hours before flying home we needed to complete the UK passenger locator forms. To complete this you must have booked and paid for your Day 2 test prior to arriving home. You need the booking reference but the rest is normal personal details. You don't need to prove you have had an Antigen test for the form. This is the responsibility of EasyJet to check.

Off to the airport. Again the airport was quiet with little queuing. We showed our passenger locator forms and Antigen test forms more than once to staff but it was all quite smooth and easy going.

Home. Now this is a slight fly in the ointment. Originally when we ordered our Day 2 tests they are sent out from the company with the aim of arriving on the day you return home. This is a bit unnecessary since they are valid for a year but that's the way they do it. Today (Day 2) we registered online and completed our tests. However, as I filled out the details online I found that one of the sample tests was missing it's bar code. This means my wife has not been able to complete the registration and send it away. To sort this out we have to e-mail the company and await a response. There is no phone number for the weekend.  This means that although we have done everything right one of cannot get the test sent back as soon as we would like. I don't think this is an issue as there are a lot of reports online from people not receiving their tests for up to a week after they have returned.

All in all, apart from a bit of stress over whether we would be negative, or not, in Spain it was straightforward if a bit of a hassle. I wouldn't do the Day 2 mail away option again but find somewhere they do it on site such as Express Test.

Ultimately I think this is going to be the way of things for a long time to come. When booking you need to accept that there will be extra forms to complete and some extra expense. Overall though you need to be prepared to accept that you may need to self-isolate if you prove positive in your country of choice. Adequate insurance is a must!

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Thanks for this Phil - it's very helpful and I hope you enjoyed your break.

If we manage to get away we're planning to take NHS tests with us for guidance +to try and mitigate any anxiety) but also take one of the tests where you do a zoom call to get the certification for travel - mainly to avoid travel to get a test as we're not near a city.

 

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Good information Phil,

We've booked 2 weeks in Cornwall in Sept. Might not get the weather but no hassles, 

We are giving going abroad a miss until next year.

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Thanks for that Phil much appreciated. We've got a week booked in Menorca for September but the wife is having cold feet as the son of a friend went to majorca with his girlfriend and she tested positive. Their rules are a bit different to ours so they took her outside and shot her through the head and buried her in a shallow grave.

No, wait that was another trip - that's right, I remember now - they put her in a covid hospital and he had to go into an isolation hotel where they didn't speak any english. When his full tests came through he was negative and could fly home but she was stuck there until it was over. It was pretty traumatic for them.

It will be useful to share your positive experience with my missus

 

Cheers

 

Mark

Edited by sladey
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