Author Topic: International travel rules announced  (Read 8946 times)

Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #90 on: August 17, 2021, 12:37:57 PM »
Had to show a locator form heading to ireland before and after the flight, they only glanced at it both times, didn't look at the covid doc at all.
Didn't have to show anything at all going back to the UK.


Was meant to be visiting a friend in Ukraine next month but the PCR test shit is a massive put off. Families must be getting absolutely gouged by it  all atm.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #91 on: August 17, 2021, 12:41:24 PM »
I’d say the extra testing and travel costs are running about £500 per person. It’s a bit of a cash grab, but I understand.

My parents are flying back today, got their tests back inside 24hrs here so hopefully should be fine.

Zetetic

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #92 on: August 17, 2021, 12:47:19 PM »
I'm assuming that the best bet for "test to return" is to buy video-chat-certifiable LFDs in the UK ahead of time, because then you're not so much at the mercy of anyone else's turnaround times or arguing the toss with a Border Force Special about what the foreign terms for specificity and sensitivity are.

Anyone able to disabuse me of this?

(For impending death-related reasons, althought not my own death, I must travel to Germany and back in September.)

Zetetic

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #93 on: August 18, 2021, 05:47:05 PM »
I'm assuming that they can't so going with the "ordering an LFD from some British bastards and spending £20 to confirm to them by video chat that I'm not lying".

Enjoying various countries half-arsed translation efforts: Germany telling me that I've visited "a(n) high-risk" and France inviting me to complete a "statement of honour".

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #94 on: August 18, 2021, 09:36:11 PM »
OK, got back from Poland today. Can't quite work out exactly how all of this shit is being monitored.

On leaving the UK, we had to do fuck all at the airport, but had all of our docs checked at the Polish end on arrival.

Coming back, we had all of our docs checked in Poland, but the UK was just your basic "stand in the passport machine" stuff. Not a single COVID related document checked. Are we basically just relying on other countries to do the work? Poland has always been a bit weird in this regard though. Even before Brexit it was the only country I have ever visited where you have to queue and go through passport control when you're leaving the country as well as entering.

Anyway, the machine didn't work for me, I'm pretty sure because I was simultaneously trying to look after two bags, take off and hold my mask, take off and hold my glasses, put the passport in the right way round without my specs on and, most importantly, clutch onto my totally redundant print offs of proof of vaccine, proof of test 2 days prior to departure, locator forms and proof of having a test booked at home. It did allow me to view the new border control checks on Johnny (sorry, "Janusz") foreigner following Brexit. It amounted to one bored looking guy scanning the ID and asking them "what's the reason for your visit?" before waving them through.

mothman

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #95 on: August 27, 2021, 08:06:13 PM »
After the impressive show the States of Jersey put on, testing arrivals as we came off the boat, was interested to see what the U.K. return would be like.

Absolutely. Nothing. No testing. No checks at all. The boat had originated in France for fuck’s sake. At least it was significantly emptier this time, whereas our outbound sailing was packed.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #96 on: August 27, 2021, 08:09:09 PM »
After the impressive show the States of Jersey put on, testing arrivals as we came off the boat, was interested to see what the U.K. return would be like.

Absolutely. Nothing. No testing. No checks at all. The boat had originated in France for fuck’s sake. At least it was significantly emptier this time, whereas our outbound sailing was packed.

My parents said the same. Nobody checked any of their documents - people were separated into green/amber/red arrival lines, then all three lines merged into the same line to walk past a bored looking security guard who just nods at people and that was it. Great stuff.

Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #97 on: August 27, 2021, 08:57:16 PM »
I'm assuming that the best bet for "test to return" is to buy video-chat-certifiable LFDs in the UK ahead of time, because then you're not so much at the mercy of anyone else's turnaround times or arguing the toss with a Border Force Special about what the foreign terms for specificity and sensitivity are.

Anyone able to disabuse me of this?

(For impending death-related reasons, althought not my own death, I must travel to Germany and back in September.)

You could most likely get an antigen 'Schnelltest' done in Germany for not much money. I've heard some Brits were able to get them for free, since the government foots the bill for each German resident tested, and some test centres don't seem to care who is/isn't a German resident. Antigen test certificates are acceptable for returning to the UK, as long as the result is also in English. Most cities will have Schnelltest centres available in various locations, some require online appointments, some are walk-ins. I actually got my test done at Dresden airport before flying back to the UK a couple of weeks ago.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #98 on: August 27, 2021, 09:27:22 PM »
^some airlines will reimburse you for the cost of a test as well if you keep a look out

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #100 on: September 06, 2021, 07:48:23 AM »
Any info about how to get the antigen test in Spain would be super appreciated!

I'm off there from Tuesday (the 7th), and I have a tidy bundle of QR codes and that: my covid passport, my paperwork to get into Spain, the details about my Day 2 PCR once I get back to the UK. But am clueless about how to get the 'at least 2 days before you return' test -- I've been all over Google, and it's just bringing up the Day 2/8 booking info back here in the UK. I'm probably stressing out more than I need to be, as the EU countries seem to be a lot more organised and civilised about the process. Even the UK gov't site is confusing as f*&^ in this regard (which doesn't surprise me).

I'm not going specifically to Alicente, but that's the airport I'm using, and that's the general area I'll be staying in, for about a week.

Now to contact AMEX to find out why they have blocked my card (and to ask them why their 24/7 telephone number actually only works M-F, 8-6pm...)

Thanks for any info about the tests <3

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #101 on: September 06, 2021, 08:23:15 AM »
Yeah it's a nightmare this stuff.  Unless the rules change you just need an antigen test which is one of the easiest, you get the results in about 15 mins and it costs around €30.  Looks like you can get it done at the airport but if I were you I'd phone them and see if you need to book an appointment or something, or find out what the wait times are likely to be.  Also search around for discount codes, the airline you're using probably gives one, but if not check the others.  When we got my daughter's done in June we just used the Easyjet codes even though she didn't fly with them.

https://eurofins-megalab.com/en/eurofins-megalab-is-carrying-out-testing-for-covid-in-12-spanish-airports/

Zetetic

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #102 on: September 06, 2021, 08:37:33 AM »
You could most likely get an antigen 'Schnelltest' done in Germany for not much money. I've heard some Brits were able to get them for free, since the government foots the bill for each German resident tested, and some test centres don't seem to care who is/isn't a German resident. Antigen test certificates are acceptable for returning to the UK, as long as the result is also in English. Most cities will have Schnelltest centres available in various locations, some require online appointments, some are walk-ins. I actually got my test done at Dresden airport before flying back to the UK a couple of weeks ago.
I've no idea how I missed this, but thank you nugget - at an absolute minimum, your response will be a source of calm if something goes wrong with our plan A (in a trip that is likely to otherwise be extremely stressful at times).

Zetetic

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #103 on: September 06, 2021, 08:39:28 AM »
Any info about how to get the antigen test in Spain would be super appreciated!

One option is always to buy a test before you leave the UK (e.g. from Chronomics) - they deliver this to your UK address, you take it with you, do it a day or two before flying, and verify it over video chat to get a certificate.

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #104 on: September 06, 2021, 09:09:06 AM »
One option is always to buy a test before you leave the UK (e.g. from Chronomics) - they deliver this to your UK address, you take it with you, do it a day or two before flying, and verify it over video chat to get a certificate.

It wouldn't get here in time -- I've got to fly out tomorrow, unfortunately. That would have been a fab option, but where I'm going won't have reliable wifi (it's fieldwork rather than being holed up in a cosy hotel).
Quote

Yeah it's a nightmare this stuff.  Unless the rules change you just need an antigen test which is one of the easiest, you get the results in about 15 mins and it costs around €30.  Looks like you can get it done at the airport but if I were you I'd phone them and see if you need to book an appointment or something, or find out what the wait times are likely to be.  Also search around for discount codes, the airline you're using probably gives one, but if not check the others.  When we got my daughter's done in June we just used the Easyjet codes even though she didn't fly with them.

https://eurofins-megalab.com/en/eurofins-megalab-is-carrying-out-testing-for-covid-in-12-spanish-airports/


I'm flying on BA -- they're usless at the moment, as their intel is only that I need to make arrangements to get a test done before I leave Spain -- they also require that I fill out forms and upload docs to prove that I've had the vaccination, &c.

Is the antigen test the lateral flow test? We have a ton of those at home already (through Mr Attila's work doling them out). I'd be happy as a clam to do that -- apologies for so many questions, but then how do you demonstrate that you took it, and you're in the clear? Waving a negative testing swab around doesn't seem to be the answer....

Is this the one that gets uploaded to the NHS covid app, or to the NHS app (I have only the latter on my tablet).

Apologies so many questions -- I've not been this stressed out since I applied for the various visa/citizenship applications, where one wrongly transposed letter or a name not exactly the same on two documents would cost you the application (and extortionate fee).

I found a couple of hospitals near Alicente airport that offer RAT PCR tests -- for €100+, of course.

I'm stressing to the point of calling the whole trip off, to be honest :(


Gah, this is some terrible coding! I can't get the quotes and my replies separated.

Zetetic

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #105 on: September 06, 2021, 09:36:17 AM »
Understood re timescales - apologies for the red herring.

Some "antigen" tests will be "lateral flow devices" (LFDs/LFTs). Unfortunately you cannot use the NHS LFTs for the reason you hit upon - they won't provide you with an appropriate certificate.

(Based on nugget's response to my question about - although about Germany - I'm guessing that getting appropriately tested somewhere in Spain won't prove impossible, although it'll be a lot easier to get an answer from someone actually there.)

Attila

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #106 on: September 06, 2021, 10:56:23 AM »
No worries -- all the advice here has been much appreciated!

I've talked to the friends I'm staying with, and they're fine with ferrying me to one of the hospitals locally that's offering appts for RAT tests -- it's an extortionate cost, but needs must.

I shouldn't be stressing out about this so much, but I've not been this frazzled since all of the paperwork to move over here -- it's bringing back a lot of feelings/stresses from that time! (It also doesn't help that it's the week before the week before our classes begin, and colleagues have been bombarding me all morning with emails and requests for meetings/solving issues this week.)

Anyway, off to book my test in Spain -- I got the intel from a site for Dutch tourists, of all things! (and the links check out, having double checked, of course). And, huzzah, the difference in fees between EU nationals and everyone else is sadly quite high.

ETA -- huzzah! Booked in for my test, and it's at a proper hospital, and for only £35. Results in an hour for a PCR test, and a really easy to navigate website - when I started to fill in my details, the site detected 'daft tourist mode' and walked me right through the process. Loads of times available, too. It's the big chain of IMed hospitals in Spain, if anyone's going out there -- the docs even include a photo map of where to park, where the covid testing spot is, etc, with big red arrows.

The main stress-factor here was simply finding the info I needed -- the UK sites, including BA and the gov't websites, only say, 'You need to book a test in Spain' without any info on where/how/what. As mentioned above, I got the info from a well-organised site for Dutch tourists in Spain, with testing centres that are close to all of the major airports in the country, when they're open, the websites to make bookings, &c.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2021, 11:22:11 AM by Attila »

Dex Sawash

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #107 on: September 06, 2021, 12:00:48 PM »
Have you googled el jabbo de espana?

Attila

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #108 on: September 06, 2021, 12:06:28 PM »
Have you googled el jabbo de espana?

Now, see, this is the straight-to-the-point advice I could use :D


(As an aside, when I was filling out address details, one of the drop down boxes was, 'What type of street is your residence on?' with like 20 different choices. Not the name of the street, that was a different box. The choices here were about the actual type of street -- residential, dirt road, public highway, &c.)

beanheadmcginty

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #109 on: September 06, 2021, 12:44:36 PM »
Anybody baffled by all the various rules when travelling, I can't recommend this website enough. Much clearer than any official government shite. Made my recent trip back to the UK much easier to sort out:
http://Www.covid19-testing.org

Attila

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #110 on: September 06, 2021, 02:22:55 PM »
That is an excellent site -- I've bookmarked it for future ref.

You're not kidding that the gov't site is confusing shite; it presents contradicting info within a single sentence. It's one reason I shelled out for a lawyer when doing visa stuff; the gov't site just led around and around in circles, which was nerve-wracking when trying to sort out documents that you didn't dare mess up.

My next 'challenge' is what to do after I arrive at Alicente, for 7 hours -- BA cancelled my afternoon flight and put me on an early morning one, which means my colleague won't be arriving until much later in the evening. I can't get to her place on my own (and she has the keys, anyway). Inside the terminal (I've never been in this airport) sounds great - lounges, decent seating, &c -- but through arrivals they just figure you'll be on your way. Whee. My first day finally travelling after 18 months, and I get to channel my inner Tom Hanks (and even his character got to live IN the terminal).

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #111 on: September 06, 2021, 02:49:10 PM »
Now, see, this is the straight-to-the-point advice I could use :D


(As an aside, when I was filling out address details, one of the drop down boxes was, 'What type of street is your residence on?' with like 20 different choices. Not the name of the street, that was a different box. The choices here were about the actual type of street -- residential, dirt road, public highway, &c.)

When requesting my postal ballot for delivery, I had the option of inputting my street address or (if I lived in one of three rural provinces) inputting my map coordinates. Presumably they fire your ballot at your house via space laser or something.

Great news onnthe booking the test though - that seems to be a complete pain for everyone. It was a nightmare here too

Attila

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #112 on: September 06, 2021, 02:57:11 PM »
I know it sounds daft, but it was a huge relief to find a site and make the booking at last.


FerriswheelBueller

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #113 on: September 06, 2021, 05:03:29 PM »
I know it sounds daft, but it was a huge relief to find a site and make the booking at last.

Not daft at all! My parents went slightly mad until I booked it for them.

Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #114 on: September 07, 2021, 09:46:59 AM »
I've no idea how I missed this, but thank you nugget - at an absolute minimum, your response will be a source of calm if something goes wrong with our plan A (in a trip that is likely to otherwise be extremely stressful at times).

I'm glad if my response is helpful in any way. The pre-departure test was probably the most difficult part of my trip to the UK, even as a German resident, so I understand why this may be stressing people out. The 'difficulty', for me, was entirely down to the UK government's stipulation that the test results have to be presented in English (French and Spanish are acceptable, but not German), which is the main reason I got the test at the airport rather than somewhere more local, where I couldn't be certain that the test result would be available in English. I actually booked the test 3 weeks in advance, although this was completely unnecessary, and it seemed like I was the only one who had bothered to do this. The only real advantage of booking ahead (other than peace of mind) is that it saved a few minutes at the check-in desk, since the girl could just scan my QR code instead of having to type in all my information herself. I received the test result by email about 30 minutes after arriving at the airport. Honestly, if I was to travel to the UK again any time soon, I'd just book an antigen test at the airport a couple of hours ahead of my departure time.

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #115 on: September 07, 2021, 01:30:42 PM »
Trip report so far (I'm stuck at Alicante for the next 6 hours waiting for my friends as they're flying in from Greece and have only tiny wings): for all of the stress of getting the paperwork sorted, it made things really really easy (as nugget notes above).

I got to Heathrow stupid early before my flight, because of all the stuff in the papers about huge queues and delays, and make sure with all the new checks you're in time. I thought, Yep, when I saw the huge check in queue, but when I got to the first checkpoint lady, she was asking everyone ahead of me if they were checked in. Nope -- because without the covid vaccine doc and whatever health docs your destination need loaded up as part of your BA check in, you can't get a boarding pass to print out at home. So they had to go join that big queue and sort it at the counter. I would have disintegrated in a ball of stressed out molecules had I had to do all there here at the airport.

Instead, I got waved over to the baggage drop, then took about 5 mins to get through security.

Once in Spain, off plane (they are making people wait and leave the plane in called rows, and BA at least will tell you to arse-grab some seat if you leap up before your row is called. No, not me, but some red faced older dude -- I'm old, but I was the youngest one on the flight by about 270 years, I think).

Through a set of e-gates, which for once recognised me with my glasses on. Passport check -- two bored guards who barely stopped their convo to stamp my passport (fuck Brexit) and throw said passport back at me. Then another check-point person asking if I had my health certificate. Yes? Cool -- over to this table, get the QR code scanned, and then off you fuck to baggage claim -- past another enormous queue of people having to do their health docs onsite.

So far it's been all right -- stressing out is no fun, but in the end it's been so, so worth it to have my little wallet of papers and QR codes.

Fingers crossed that the reverse is equally all right -- quite happy to have my appt for the PCR test, and sussed out where they have the testing centres in the airport, too, so that could have been an option.

Not gonna lie, almost felt a bit teary crossing into T5 for the first time in almost two years, sniffoo.

Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #116 on: September 07, 2021, 02:27:03 PM »
I got to Heathrow stupid early before my flight, because of all the stuff in the papers about huge queues and delays, and make sure with all the new checks you're in time. I thought, Yep, when I saw the huge check in queue, but when I got to the first checkpoint lady, she was asking everyone ahead of me if they were checked in. Nope -- because without the covid vaccine doc and whatever health docs your destination need loaded up as part of your BA check in, you can't get a boarding pass to print out at home. So they had to go join that big queue and sort it at the counter. I would have disintegrated in a ball of stressed out molecules had I had to do all there here at the airport.

I flew with Lufthansa from Heathrow and it was a bit different, but also relatively painless. I checked in online the day before and got my boarding pass, but I had luggage to drop off, so I had to go to the check-in desk anyway. There was no queue, and the check-in guy asked to see my vaccine certificate and German passenger locator form. He gave me a new, printed boarding pass, and obviously made a note in their system that my documents were in order. At the boarding gate, the crew read out a massive list of names about 20 mins before boarding, asking them to come to the gate with their documents for inspection. I'm assuming these were all people who had checked in online and didn't drop off luggage at the check in desk, suckers. Arriving in Germany, there were just the usual passport checks at the airport.

Flying into Heathrow was much less organised, surprisingly. All the checking was done at the gate, and the airline/airport staff made a right mess out of it, resulting in a massive argument with a group of (understandably) very pissed off and confused passengers, which ultimately required police intervention and delayed the departure by about 45 mins.

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #117 on: September 07, 2021, 02:42:29 PM »
Flying out of here -- I will be really stupid early, as my friends' flight is two hours before mine, so obviously, if they're bringing me to the airport, I'll be along, too.

I feel a little better about being stuck here (currently deep into Hour Two of Alicante Roosting) because my friends are stuck in Barcelona for almost as long, waiting for their connecting flight down here. I'm also clearly not the only one stuck here -- there's a young woman sat near me who was here when I rocked up, and clearly well bunkered down, and now sat wit a 1000 yard stare on her face.

There is someone nearby who's just started up some construction work with a drill that might send me over the swings a la Herbert Lom/Inspector Dreyfuss in a bit, but we'll see...

Attila

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Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #118 on: September 13, 2021, 11:05:10 AM »
Field report -- starting the process now to get my paperwork sorted for the UK return...what a shambles.

I started my home locator form for the UK last week as much as a could to generate a link -- supposedly I could click and continue once I had my PCR test and all that guff sorted. Nope. Click on the link, 'Page not found.'

Tried to sign in using the details. Unconfirmed user.

Tried to create a new account with a different email. Didn't like my phone number. Attempted to restart that application. Sorry, there is already an account registered with that email.

Went to a 3rd email address to start the process again. We'll sent you a text on the number you've provided to confirm your identity. Text never came, even after 2 or 3 requests to resend. So that's three emails I can no longer use for the application because theyre already registered. Even though they refuse to accept my log in details because I'm 'unconfirmed.'

Created a 4th email address and got all the way down to 'when will your flight get into the UK?' and was told, nope, you're two hours early to complete this form, so you have to come back and do the form within 48 hours of arrival. Click here to generate a link so you can get back to the form.

Well, yeah, that's what I thought I could do originally, only to be told page not found.

So I have generated a fifth email address on gmail now, so that when I'm within my 48 hours (I'm erring on the side of caution), I can get the paperwork that, for Spain, took me 10 minutes to sort. The UK one will want me to upload proof that I've had a neg pCR result (yep) and that I've sorted my Day 2 PCR test (yep) -- so I HAVE all of the supporting docs 'n' that, but fuck me, what a pain in the arse.

Did a belt and braces PCR test this morning, and the nurse had a good laugh when she checked my passport -- have a birthday, get a PCR test!

The gov't forms all say, 'Oh, you can have all of your docs with the QR codes on your phone or you can bring printouts.' I have a tablet, but not a smartphone, but I'm printing everything out -- I don't dare risk not being able to find stuff when I'm in the airport or whatever.


Re: International travel rules announced
« Reply #119 on: September 13, 2021, 12:25:48 PM »
I waited until it was within the 48-hour window before doing mine, and it worked fine. Also never had to upload proof of anything, just had to type in an order reference number for the day-2 test, for which I'm pretty sure I could have just typed in any string of random numbers.

Definitely a good idea to print everything out, it'll make it easier for people to check (nobody actually used the QR codes and checked everything manually), and it doesn't matter if your phone/tablet craps out.

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