Monday, 31 August 2020

Travel Advice for those with Cabin Fever

TRAVEL ADVICE FOR THOSE WITH CABIN FEVER Please, do, accept our apologies for our absence, but this was rather a tricky one to write as you may imagine. The trouble with travel advice, and travel in general in these challenging times, is that it keeps changing. So to bring you the very latest and best advice is somewhat difficult. Instead, what we decided to do was to get the experience from some of our esteemed clients, because, as those who are members of Global Great Hotels know, we’re a tight knit bunch, and we like to keep in contact regularly with our customers, to see how they are and what they’ve been up to. We have seen a steady increase in the amount of holidays being (re) booked for our members, so we decided to ask them their advice, those who have already been and gone, and what they discovered when they got there. Most people haven’t been too far flung as yet, although there are some big holidays still planned for later on in the year for many people and, interestingly enough, we have found that many clients, especially those who are retired, are not worried about changing quarantine rules. As one customer said, “we’re basically in quarantine anyway! Pottering about in the garden for 2 weeks when we get back and getting our shopping delivered rather than going out for it is absolutely no different to what we’d already be doing anyway!” So you do have that school of thought. We were about to say, it’s different for those who work, however, as one of our younger clients pointed out, most people are working from home now, anyway, so again, quarantine if you’re working from home is not difficult. However, we mustn’t be flippant about the situation, and we must, of course, be sensible. So, what happens when you get to the airport? What are the procedures and what have our clients found when they’ve got to the other side?
Let’s take Spain as our example, as it’s been the most popular and the most likely with the average person to visit. Before you go, you need to visit www.spth.gob.es. This is the Spain Travel Health website. This is essential and you must fill out the health control form and obtain your “QR Code” otherwise you cannot travel. The form must be filled out for everyone and anyone travelling to Spain. It’s one form per SINGLE trip, meaning that you need to fill out another one before you return as well. You can either print the form out, or download the app. Either way, by filling out the form, it generates a “QR Code” which is one of those squares of code used by the machines at the security check-points to scan (like the one you get on your boarding pass). We suggest downloading the app if you can, because although you might have access to a printer at home, you may not when you’re the other end and need to do another one before coming home. On the form, you’ll need information like your flight number and passport number, so have those details handy. It is suggested that you do this two days before leaving the UK, and then, two days before leaving Spain. Just make sure you do it in plenty of time, so not to rush at the last minute. As of writing, apart from in Wales or if you’re under six years old, it is now mandatory to wear a mask in public places, so it should come as no surprise that you must wear your mask at all times (apart from eating and drinking) in the airport and on the plane. If you have a minor under six who is unwilling to wear a mask, here are some examples of ones which may entice them (not that I’m talking from experience here or anything! www.luxpu.com).
Accounts so far have been that it’s actually been pretty normal. Not too busy but not like a ghost town either. And I suppose it makes sense, really, I mean, now when you’re going round Sainsbury’s it’s completely normal to keep your distance and wear a mask. It’s mandatory, and we’re all just getting on with it, really. So it’s exactly the same in the airport. Still the same if you’re the unlucky chap at security who has to completely unpack their bag for some random reason, and let’s face it, the security personnel always wore gloves anyway, so that hasn’t changed. As another aside for you, I don’t know about you, but Covid-19 or no Covid-19, we think it’s actually a good idea to wear a mask on the plane anyway. Reason being, how many colds have you managed to catch on a plane? It happens all the time, and yes they do recycle the air, but they can’t change the recycling filters for every flight, so we are massively of the school of thought that it’s far better for you anyway to wear a mask. Again, you are checked the other side for your “QR Code” as described above and off you go as normal. It’s the same in Spain, and remember, they locked down much quicker than we did, so it’s even more normal for them than it is for us. Wear a mask and keep your distance. One of our customers suggested, which is a good idea: if you want to go to one of your favourite restaurants, remember to book beforehand and check on opening times. Remember restaurants have had to rearrange themselves a bit to cope, so just double check what the procedure is. Other than that, enjoy it! It’s life, what can we say, and the show must go on!
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