International travel

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WFJ
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Re: International travel

Post by WFJ » Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:41 pm

I can't answer your question, but when I was travelling into the the UK a few months ago I emailed dhsctesttrace.customerfeedbackteam@nhs.net with a similar query and, despite expecting either no response or a terse pro forma response that ignored my question, was surprised to receive a quick and useful reply.

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Re: International travel

Post by badger » Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:54 pm

Cheers WFJ - will see what they say. In the meantime I'll start making a care package.

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Sciolus
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Re: International travel

Post by Sciolus » Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:25 pm

I would normally turn to the legislation rather than the guidance for this sort of thing. I think the relevant regs are here, but I don't think it answers your question either.

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Re: International travel

Post by OffTheRock » Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:14 pm

The hotel quarantine applies to anyone who has been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England. So I think he would most likely have to do the hotel/prison.

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Re: International travel

Post by monkey » Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:27 pm

badger wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:34 pm
If he has to do the hotel/prison, what are the ways out of it? If he stayed in Belgium would it be the same there? Or could he book himself into a nicer appt to quarantine in Brussels? Or could he fly somewhere else to quarantine? He has an offer to stay in a friend's place in the Balearics - could he fly there instead to quarantine, or would Spain kick him out?
OffTheRock wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:14 pm

The hotel quarantine applies to anyone who has been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England. So I think he would most likely have to do the hotel/prison.
My brother is going back to the UK from Bahrain, which is on the red list. To avoid the stupid amounts of money it would cost to sit in a Heathrow airport hotel, he's stopping over with his wife's family in Hungary for 10 days, which means he'll get to quarantine at Mum's instead. Don't know if it's worked, 'cos he's not finished the Hungary leg yet, but he doesn't seem worried that it won't. (Everyone involved has been jabbed.)

Stopping over at Belgium for 10 days will avoid stopping in an airport hotel, but you'd still have to self isolate for 10 days when you get back to the UK, but it'd be nicer and cheaper if you can do that in your own home.

I do not know what the Belgium rules are, those would have to be followed too. You might just be picking between two different airport hotels that you spend 10 days in.

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Re: International travel

Post by badger » Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:43 pm

OffTheRock wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:14 pm
The hotel quarantine applies to anyone who has been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England. So I think he would most likely have to do the hotel/prison.
That's the thing, it's not a red list country when he departs. It's currently amber and will be after he's left, but by the time he's at Heathrow it will be red.

I think I saw this come up in an FAQ I looked at when the traffic light system came in, as there were various long haul travellers with a similar issue, but I can't remember what it said nor can I find it again.

But I think you're right, it's what colour the country is at time of arrival, and the fact there were no flights, let alone direct flights, to get him back in time will probably not cut it as an excuse.

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Re: International travel

Post by badger » Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:47 pm

monkey wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:27 pm
badger wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:34 pm
If he has to do the hotel/prison, what are the ways out of it? If he stayed in Belgium would it be the same there? Or could he book himself into a nicer appt to quarantine in Brussels? Or could he fly somewhere else to quarantine? He has an offer to stay in a friend's place in the Balearics - could he fly there instead to quarantine, or would Spain kick him out?
OffTheRock wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:14 pm

The hotel quarantine applies to anyone who has been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England. So I think he would most likely have to do the hotel/prison.
My brother is going back to the UK from Bahrain, which is on the red list. To avoid the stupid amounts of money it would cost to sit in a Heathrow airport hotel, he's stopping over with his wife's family in Hungary for 10 days, which means he'll get to quarantine at Mum's instead. Don't know if it's worked, 'cos he's not finished the Hungary leg yet, but he doesn't seem worried that it won't. (Everyone involved has been jabbed.)

Stopping over at Belgium for 10 days will avoid stopping in an airport hotel, but you'd still have to self isolate for 10 days when you get back to the UK, but it'd be nicer and cheaper if you can do that in your own home.

I do not know what the Belgium rules are, those would have to be followed too. You might just be picking between two different airport hotels that you spend 10 days in.
Yep, I think investigating Balearic option will be way forward if Spain rules permit it, or Brussels airbnb for ten days if not. Isolating with family again for 10 days when back in the UK won't be an issue in the circumstances.

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Re: International travel

Post by badger » Mon Jun 28, 2021 7:48 pm

Sciolus wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:25 pm
I would normally turn to the legislation rather than the guidance for this sort of thing. I think the relevant regs are here, but I don't think it answers your question either.
Thanks, but am even more lost looking at that!!

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Re: International travel

Post by sTeamTraen » Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:50 pm

badger wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:34 pm
He has an offer to stay in a friend's place in the Balearics - could he fly there instead to quarantine, or would Spain kick him out?

I think he's double-jabbed.
If he is double-jabbed and can produce credible written documentation of that having been completed more than 15 days ago, then he can enter Spain without needing an "urgent reason to travel", as long as he is not flying from India, Brazil, or South Africa. So yes, he could "launder" his red list status here, and no need for quarantine of any kind. In fact as far as Spain is concerned he's arriving from Belgium.

However, when he comes from Uganda he will apparently first need to enter the Schengen zone at Brussels, and for that he will probably need to be in conformity with the Belgian rules. There's a bit of a bug in the system in that every EU country has ********** SOVRINTEE ********** over its borders when it comes to admitting third-country nationals (in this case, Brits), but once someone is inside one EU country they are effectively in them all.

So if he were flying from Kampala or Entebbe to Madrid he would be fine, but if Belgium won't let him in then he will need to find a country to enter the EU that will.

It's also possible that Belgium would let him in on condition that he flies straight out. There are a billion combinations, and that's without taking into account the fact that the combination of departure country=Uganda, EU entry country=Belgium, final EU destination=Spain, and passport=UK will very likely overwhelm the cognitive capacity of one official or airline check-in person or airport gate staff member somewhere along the line and result in him being denied boarding or entry even if, were he to have an international travel lawyer with him, he might be OK.
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gosling
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Re: International travel

Post by gosling » Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:04 pm

It looks like Belgium has two options which allow you to transit there:
  • People who travel through Belgium to the country of the European Union or Schengen Area of which they are a national or where they have their main residence;
  • People travelling outside the Schengen Area and the European Union (transit via a high-risk country without leaving the international zone of the airport or transit in Belgium from a high-risk country without leaving the airport’s non-Schengen Area);
https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/coun ... high-risk/

So, if I'm reading that correctly, he can transit if he comes back to the UK, but not to go to Spain.

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Re: International travel

Post by monkey » Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:39 pm

gosling wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 10:04 pm
  • People travelling outside the Schengen Area and the European Union (transit via a high-risk country without leaving the international zone of the airport or transit in Belgium from a high-risk country without leaving the airport’s non-Schengen Area);
Just hang out there for 10 days. Might not have a comfy bed, but it's probably more interesting than a hotel room.

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Re: International travel

Post by badger » Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:20 pm

Thanks everyone! I understood from gosling's link that he couldn't enter Belgium? Or Monkey are you saying he should hang out in the airport a fortnight?!

No direct flights to Spain, but via Netherlands looks promising, especially with a bypass for transiting passengers if fully jabbed coming into force 1st July (and Uganda not in v high risk list)

https://www.government.nl/topics/corona ... short-stay

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Re: International travel

Post by monkey » Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:43 pm

badger wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:20 pm
Thanks everyone! I understood from gosling's link that he couldn't enter Belgium? Or Monkey are you saying he should hang out in the airport a fortnight?!
Only in a tougney cheeky way.

But it does have advantages. It'll be bigger than a hotel room for starters.

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Re: International travel

Post by badger » Tue Jun 29, 2021 7:35 am

monkey wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:43 pm
badger wrote:
Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:20 pm
Thanks everyone! I understood from gosling's link that he couldn't enter Belgium? Or Monkey are you saying he should hang out in the airport a fortnight?!
Only in a tougney cheeky way.

But it does have advantages. It'll be bigger than a hotel room for starters.
Absolutely! It's just I was struggling to understand that paragraph from the Belgium rules and was losing all ability to comprehend, let alone parse tone.

Anyway, I should get an update later but looks to me like he's preparing for UK quarantine hotel incarceration and hoping against hope for leniency.

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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:55 pm

Spanish school students stuck in hotel quarantine in Majorca
... around 200 Spanish students [are] being held under police guard at the Palma Bellver hotel in Majorca, in Spain's Balearic Islands, after an outbreak of more than 1,000 cases of Covid-19 were linked to end-of-year trips by celebrating school students.
molto tricky

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sTeamTraen
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Re: International travel

Post by sTeamTraen » Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:07 pm

shpalman wrote:
Tue Jun 29, 2021 6:55 pm
Spanish school students stuck in hotel quarantine in Majorca
... around 200 Spanish students [are] being held under police guard at the Palma Bellver hotel in Majorca, in Spain's Balearic Islands, after an outbreak of more than 1,000 cases of Covid-19 were linked to end-of-year trips by celebrating school students.
Yeah, this one incident has almost certainly f.cked up our ECDC green status from this coming Thursday. But it seems they hardly infected anyone locally, it was all among themselves. "Compulsory masks outdoors" was removed from the list of restrictions last Saturday, but you can still tell the locals from the tourists by their mask or not. Compliance here has been astonishingly high.
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Re: International travel

Post by sTeamTraen » Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:16 pm

We are heading for a possible shitshow starting on Friday when the first UK tourists arrive under the new "vaccine or test" rules.

First (cf my thread about vaccine proof) nobody seems to know exactly what will count as a valid vaccine certificate. I expect a ton of people to produce only an appointment card, possibly in Welsh.

Second, nobody seems to know if UK tourists need (only) an RT-PCR test, or "any molecular test", or whether in fact an antigen (lateral flow) will do. El Pais says an antigen test is OK, and you can usually take its advice to the bank, but it all hinges on exactly what the 1 means in the pic below (the targeted section has two points numbered 1, and neither of them is really "part 1 of the para"). One problem is that "PCR" seems to have become the standard Spanish word for "test" in the same way that JCB is the UK word for any piece of earth-moving equipment. I suspect that UK visitors will end up needing a PCR as opposed to an antigen test, uniquely among every other country in the world right now, purely because PM Sánchez said "pé-cé-erré" on the TV interview where he soft-announced this policy on Monday, and nobody wants to correct him.

Third, nobody knows the minimum age for children to need a test. The laws I've seen all say that children aged 6 and up need a test, but even Spanish government web sites are starting to anticipate the EU Covid app which only handles children 12 and up.

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Re: International travel

Post by WFJ » Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:35 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:16 pm
We are heading for a possible shitshow starting on Friday when the first UK tourists arrive under the new "vaccine or test" rules.

First (cf my thread about vaccine proof) nobody seems to know exactly what will count as a valid vaccine certificate...

Second, nobody seems to know if UK tourists need (only) an RT-PCR test, or "any molecular test"...

Third, nobody knows the minimum age for children to need a test...
The shitshow will be unlikely to happen over there. At least in the main. The airlines will be checking all documents prior to boarding, and people will be denied boarding if they cannot show they pass the rules. A few might get through, but most of the problems will be in UK airports.

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Re: International travel

Post by sTeamTraen » Tue Jun 29, 2021 11:38 pm

WFJ wrote:
Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:35 pm
sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Jun 29, 2021 8:16 pm
We are heading for a possible shitshow starting on Friday when the first UK tourists arrive under the new "vaccine or test" rules.

First (cf my thread about vaccine proof) nobody seems to know exactly what will count as a valid vaccine certificate...

Second, nobody seems to know if UK tourists need (only) an RT-PCR test, or "any molecular test"...

Third, nobody knows the minimum age for children to need a test...
The shitshow will be unlikely to happen over there. At least in the main. The airlines will be checking all documents prior to boarding, and people will be denied boarding if they cannot show they pass the rules. A few might get through, but most of the problems will be in UK airports.
That depends on what version of the rules the airlines are using. I just saw an e-mail from Jet2 to their customers saying the minimum age above which a test is needed is 11 both ways. In fact that is the minimum age to need a test to enter the UK; the current doubt about the minimum age for Spain is that it's either 6 or 12. So if it's 6 then Jet2 will be letting people get on the plane to Mallorca with untested 6-10 year olds, leading to a shitshow on landing, and if it's 12 then Jet2 will be refusing boarding to untested 11 year olds, leading to a shitshow at the UK airport as parents show the page from the Spanish health ministry that says 12 (again, possibly wrongly). If there wasn't the uncertainty over 6 v 12 I'd be tweeting at Jet2 to get them to re-check, but when Spain can't make up its mind either there doesn't seem much point.

Regarding vaccines, in the course of this evening, two Spanish government web sites have been updated to try and remove the ambiguity. One now says, in bold, "For travellers arriving from the UK the only valid test is a PCR test", and the other explicitly states that antigen tests are allowed from all countries. I imagine that when the relevant ministers get to work in the morning there will be some lively meetings.
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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:18 am

molto tricky

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Re: International travel

Post by badger » Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:55 am

*Itinerant friend update*

Having decided to bite the bullet and book in to a Quarantine Hotel (Qotel? Q-Hotel? Quarantel? Covi-tel?) for London arrival, it turns out there was no availability. Already at the airport and unable to rebook flight back without major financial pain led to constant refreshing of the hotel booking page and booking a room just before boarding in Uganda.

On landing in Brussels no email confirmation came through (oh-oh), so they wouldn't let him board connecting flight to London. No availability when trying to rebook. Missed flight to Spain (plan b) and is sleeping at the airport waiting for next available flight there (Monkey, tongue may be removed from cheek now!)

Thanks again to everyone here - lots of v useful info passed on and got me looking at the right sets of guidelines.

PS. Can't believe (as in can believe) this sh.t show of a government don't have capacity in the hotel system. I thought privatisation (contract is with CTM) means that the lean mean market machine provides an efficient effective service?

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Re: International travel

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Jun 30, 2021 9:38 am

Wow. Is there anything the UK government can get right?
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Re: International travel

Post by sTeamTraen » Wed Jun 30, 2021 10:18 am

badger wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:55 am
Missed flight to Spain (plan b) and is sleeping at the airport waiting for next available flight there (Monkey, tongue may be removed from cheek now!)
At least it seems they let him into the EU. But unless he got on TUI at 0600 this morning, he may be waiting a bit. The next direct flight from Brussels to Palma doesn't seem to be until 1320 tomorrow with Ryanair. :(

Meanwhile Hong Kong is banning all flights from the UK. So pretty soon it won't be a problem that "executives" will be able to break quarantine when they land in the UK for their Important Executive Meetings, as they won't be flying in just to get stuck on Plague Island.
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Re: International travel

Post by badger » Wed Jun 30, 2021 10:37 am

sTeamTraen wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 10:18 am
badger wrote:
Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:55 am
Missed flight to Spain (plan b) and is sleeping at the airport waiting for next available flight there (Monkey, tongue may be removed from cheek now!)
At least it seems they let him into the EU. But unless he got on TUI at 0600 this morning, he may be waiting a bit. The next direct flight from Brussels to Palma doesn't seem to be until 1320 tomorrow with Ryanair. :(

Meanwhile Hong Kong is banning all flights from the UK. So pretty soon it won't be a problem that "executives" will be able to break quarantine when they land in the UK for their Important Executive Meetings, as they won't be flying in just to get stuck on Plague Island.
yep, I think he's on that one tomorrow, but personally I think that's a better outcome and hope he does too (assuming he makes it there).

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Re: International travel

Post by wilsontown » Wed Jun 30, 2021 10:58 am

I'd have thought that one thing the pandemic had made clear is that there is no need to waste time and money sending people all over the world for face to face meetings given the available technology.
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