The coronavirus pandemic has changed the face to travel as we know it. Over the past few months there has been a pessimistic view towards travel after COVID-19. You might be feeling a bit apprehensive towards travelling again – I was. In this blog post I will share my experiences: before during after an essential trip taken in June/July 2020.
Before booking the flight
Before booking your flight it is important to check the government regulations (preferably on government websites)
At the time of my departure from the UK only essesial travel was permitted out of the UK. The official guideline stated that “The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel”. There are also definitions of what is included as essential travel. These can be found here
The reason for my travel after the pandemic was listed under the definition for essential travel, so I could go ahead with my booking.
The booking process remains relatively the same. I used Skyscanner as I always do. I find it’s best for comparing prices. I opted to fly with KLM (I had a travel voucher her from a previously cancelled flight).
My route was Aberdeen to Amsterdam to Malpensa, Italy. The trip was a total of about 36 hours with a 20 hour layover in Amsterdam.
At the airport
I was surprised at how busy the airports were. For some reason, I expected it to be quite empty.
Some changes at the airports include:
- Stickers on the floor to indicated where to stand to give the appropriate physical distance
- Some chairs are covered up and cannot be used due to social distancing
- You are required to wear a face masks
- I found people are generally less conversational and tend to keep to themselves as much as possible.
Before boarding the flight to Italy I had my temperature taken and had to fill out 2 public heath declaration forms. The forms were a declaration that I did not have a fever, cough, runny nose or covid-19. After this, I was given a yellow sticker on my passport which I had to show before boarding.
During the flight (KLM)
You are required to wear a face covering at all times (except when eating) You will not be allowed in the flight without one.
The meal service is minimal. We got a small individually packaged sandwich and water. Bring your own food if needed.
The pilot announced that the air in the aircraft is continually renewed with fresh air drawn in from outside. Their aircrafts are equipped with an air filtration system which capture 99,99% of viruses and bacteria, including coronaviruses.
Once again, I was surprised at how busy the flight was. Most seats were occupied so no social distancing.
I arrived Italy directly from The Netherlands so there were limited checks to my passport as both countries are within the Scheghen zone. I stayed in Italy for 7 days and will write a separate blogpost on my stay and view of Italy post lockdown.
Retuning to the UK
At the date of my return the self isolation rule was still valid. So I was required to self-isolate for the first 14 days in the UK. This means that I cannot leave my home, except in very limited situations. As I was working from home. This was easy to comply with.
You also have to fill out a public health passenger locator form. You’ll be asked to present this form (printed or on your phone) when you arrive in the United Kingdom. The authorities will use this information so they can reach you if someone that you’ve travelled with shows symptoms of the coronavirus. Your contact details can also be used to check if you’re following the self-isolating requirements
My first trip after the pandemic was relatively straightforward and easy. My main advice is to always travel responsibly. Comply with the rules of the country you are travelling from and the country you are travelling to. Research these beforehand as they will be different for each country.
Here are come tools that might help as your research your travel after the pandemic
- UK Government Coronavirus Legislation
- IATA Travel Centre
- Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Re-Open EU
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below or send me a DM on Instagram. I’d love to hear from you!
Love and light, That Tall Lady
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