Abandoning Prison Island

justinbrett

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I guess so long as you pick a transit point that doesn’t require PCR testing, then you’re good for the UK.

Not that I’d advocate it…. But the lateral flow test on arrival would not be at all hard to manipulate (or even not do).

Or fly Qantas... 😕
 

rcn

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Check in took longer than pre COVID times, as staff do another level of checks.

Then its off to passport control.

Autogates are closed, so manual processing only.

Security unchanged.

Then its off to the lounge.

Happy to report the quality of the food has not changed.

Good to see some familiar faces, and lounge staff are really happy to be back at work!

ZNJ in the background at gate 8 operating as QF1 taking us to LHR this evening, with ZNB operating QF11 to LAX from gate 9 later tonight.



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jcb12

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@N860CR @rcn Thanks for this trip report. I'm currently considering doing a quick visit to the UK in January for a family event. The only things I'm not sure about at the moment are getting the required tests in the UK. Did you pre-book the day 2 test and the PCR test before leaving and if so, who did you use and what was the cost?
 

rcn

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Survived the 17hour trek from DRW - LHR, which arrived right on time at 0650.

The only noticeable difference was no printed menus in Y.

Breakfast served 2.5hrs from landing.

Cant complain about the food and inflight service.

I was surprised that there was no difference in arrival formalities at the UK border. Straight through the passport autogates and that was it. There was no re-verification of the Passenger Locator Form (verified in SYD during check - in).

Luggage was waiting for us, then it was a short walk to Short stay carpark 3, level 3 to wait for our Uber.

After an hour in horrendous London peak morning traffic, we're now in the breakfast room of the hotel (with a nice view of Hyde Park) waiting for the rooom to be ready.

@jcb12

Booking the D2 testing was straightforward. We went with Boots as there was one near our hotel, and they did D2 lateral flow as well as the PCR testing (required to return to Australia). GBP79.99 for PCR testing with 48hr turnaround. GBP21 for the D2 test (incl postage)(required to complete your PLF).

All in all, quite a smooth trip. Its really mind boggling that we can literally go almost anywhere in the world now, but not to QLD or WA.


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N860CR

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@N860CR @rcn Thanks for this trip report. I'm currently considering doing a quick visit to the UK in January for a family event. The only things I'm not sure about at the moment are getting the required tests in the UK. Did you pre-book the day 2 test and the PCR test before leaving and if so, who did you use and what was the cost?

It’s fairly straight forward. I booked a “day 2” test with a company called Prenetics. About £20 and they mail it to your accommodation. Do it yourself test and upload via their website. It’s a bit of a non-event because nobody actually checks it ever.

For the PCR on return I’ve booked it with Randox at Stansted airport (I’m arriving from Europe and then heading home 2 days later). £50 and thats for a standard PCR done by somebody (as we’ve been doing at home).
 

N860CR

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Thanks both for the replies on testing, both super helpful and seems pretty straightforward.

Europe/UK does seem to be comparatively easy, especially if you’re transiting a country that doesn’t require testing (ie Japan).

I’m heading to the continent this evening and I think I could have gotten away without any tests (just showing my vax cert) but to be safe, I’ve done a lateral flow test. Figured £20 is cheap insurance. Plus it’s nice to get a mid-trip covid check.
 

N860CR

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So leaving the UK tonight on Ryanair. I’d over-prepared with a printed vaccination certificate, negative test result and Portuguese arrival form. Checkin staff couldn’t have card less and didn’t even look at it when I handed my proudly organised pile over. Just a quick “you double-vaxed darl?” and that was it.

I’ll report back on arrival in Portugal but, thus far, experience here has been exactly the same as the last time I flew Ryanair. Virtually zero use of masks in the checkin area (passengers and staff), about 50% post security where they’re mandatory.
 

N860CR

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Just through passport control now. A quick “you’re a long way from home” and while struggling to find a spot in my passport “have you been everywhere?” and that was it. No check of my vaccination certificate, negative result or my Portuguese locator form.

The Europeans have moved on. Covid is over.
 

Virgin Bart

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Just through passport control now. A quick “you’re a long way from home” and while struggling to find a spot in my passport “have you been everywhere?” and that was it. No check of my vaccination certificate, negative result or my Portuguese locator form.

The Europeans have moved on. Covid is over.
I'm hoping to get to Poland for Christmas and I'm terrified they'll lock down again. Reading that gives me some hope. Although they're frightfully unvaccinated (50% double dose).
 

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MARTINE

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I'm hoping to get to Poland for Christmas and I'm terrified they'll lock down again. Reading that gives me some hope. Although they're frightfully unvaccinated (50% double dose).
I just received comms from dear friends in Amsterdam who at (85% plus vaccinated) are going into a lockdown -details to come. I suppose it’s a matter of keeping eyes/ears on ground if destination of choice with contingencies up your sleeve.
good luck
 

MooTime

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I'm hoping to get to Poland for Christmas and I'm terrified they'll lock down again. Reading that gives me some hope. Although they're frightfully unvaccinated (50% double dose).
Yeah there're bit of a hopeless bunch in the motherland Polska.
Little backward yet beautiful country.

Wander what their hospital rate is like, even other euro nations.

At least they can all travel rather freely.
 
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Virgin Bart

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Yeah there're bit of a hopeless bunch in the motherland Polska.
Little backward yet beautiful country.

Wander what their hospital rate is like, even other euro nations.

At least they can all travel rather freely.
Yeah, I feel the same... I did read an article that apparently last lockdown an operator of an ice-rink would put flowers from him in the middle of the rink, becuase florists were allowed to open (but ice-rinks weren't). Then he'd say there's a one hour browsing limit at his florist :D that was in Szczecin.
 

Berrocca

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Thanks for the report N860CR. I'm heading to Portugal via Germany next September and really hoping the process is as painless and seamless as possible as I'm in 2 minds whether to go or wait until 2023.
 

Must...Fly!

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I just received comms from dear friends in Amsterdam who at (85% plus vaccinated) are going into a lockdown -details to come. I suppose it’s a matter of keeping eyes/ears on ground if destination of choice with contingencies up your sleeve.
good luck
The Australian experience of a lockdown does seem different to what is done in some overseas places though. Some of the details about the proposed Amsterdam lockdown wouldn't really make a difference between deciding to travel there and not going. Though perhaps you might want to reduce your time in-country.


Though I will say that the changing sands in Europe make me a little more tempted to spend most of my month away next year in England. Couldn't care less about COVID though it would be better to be in an English speaking country where I am familiar with how things operate and would be (relatively) easier to obtain documentation from Doctors to prove COVID infection and recovery which would be very important for the trip home.
 

N860CR

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Thanks for the report N860CR. I'm heading to Portugal via Germany next September and really hoping the process is as painless and seamless as possible as I'm in 2 minds whether to go or wait until 2023.

September is a long way away. Based on how things are now, I’d suggest covid will be a distant memory by then. I will say mask compliance is significantly better in Portugal than England.

Though I will say that the changing sands in Europe make me a little more tempted to spend most of my month away next year in England. Couldn't care less about COVID though it would be better to be in an English speaking country where I am familiar with how things operate and would be (relatively) easier to obtain documentation from Doctors to prove COVID infection and recovery which would be very important for the trip home.

I’ve thought about it… and I think I’ve got friends/family who are secretly hoping I test positive next week. Given the freedom of movement with vax certificates only (and the ability to test on return to the UK), it is very tempting to stay. Starting to get miserably cold though.
 
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