International travel

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Trinucleus
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Re: International travel

Post by Trinucleus » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:21 pm

We're hopefully off to Corfu next month.

Anyone know whether Greece has embraced contactless payments as much as the UK? Up to now it's been notoriously cash focussed, even for bigger payments.

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Gfamily
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Re: International travel

Post by Gfamily » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:26 pm

Trinucleus wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:21 pm
We're hopefully off to Corfu next month.

Anyone know whether Greece has embraced contactless payments as much as the UK? Up to now it's been notoriously cash focussed, even for bigger payments.
If you've not already asked there, TripAdvisor forums might be helpful.
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: International travel

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:40 pm

Trinucleus wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:21 pm
We're hopefully off to Corfu next month.

Anyone know whether Greece has embraced contactless payments as much as the UK? Up to now it's been notoriously cash focussed, even for bigger payments.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if card payments in general are unusual, as they are in Portugal (outside of big chain shops). Much easier to avoid bank fees and taxes if you work in cash.
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Trinucleus
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Re: International travel

Post by Trinucleus » Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:35 pm

Gfamily wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:26 pm
Trinucleus wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:21 pm
We're hopefully off to Corfu next month.

Anyone know whether Greece has embraced contactless payments as much as the UK? Up to now it's been notoriously cash focussed, even for bigger payments.
If you've not already asked there, TripAdvisor forums might be helpful.
Thanks, they were very helpful. Looks like risking infection through handling cash is generally preferable to paying income tax

Trinucleus
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Re: International travel

Post by Trinucleus » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:38 pm

Trinucleus wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:35 pm
Gfamily wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:26 pm
Trinucleus wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:21 pm
We're hopefully off to Corfu next month.

Anyone know whether Greece has embraced contactless payments as much as the UK? Up to now it's been notoriously cash focussed, even for bigger payments.
If you've not already asked there, TripAdvisor forums might be helpful.
Thanks, they were very helpful. Looks like risking infection through handling cash is generally preferable to paying income tax
Just looking at car hire. One company offers a special discount if you pay the full charge in cash 😉

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veravista
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Re: International travel

Post by veravista » Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:16 pm

We were in Corfu (Kassiopi) last September, contactless payments in most bars and chip and pin in restaurants. Only cash we used was for small stuff, bakeries and the like (although their pies and pastries and bl..dy massive).

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Re: International travel

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:54 pm

If portugal is any guide, touristy areas will have decent card infrastructure, and places further off the beaten track will not.

For instance hardly anywhere takes cards in the town where I live (even places you might reasonably expect to, like pharmacies) but across the river in Lisbon most places in the centre do. The dormitory suburbs on the outskirts are cardless again, though.

Also some places have a €5 card minimum, which is quite hard to hit if you're in your own, because stuff is so cheap. And sometimes they only accept cards through a domestic network called multibanco, rather than Visa or MasterCard or whatever.

OTOH everywhere has hand sanitizer at the entrance and by the tills, so you can keep your hands nice and sterile and slimy.
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Re: International travel

Post by Trinucleus » Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:13 pm

Looks like a lot of cash will be involved. Next question is sanitising the money - boiling water over couns, but need to see if it affects the notes, otherwise will just quarantine the change for a week

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Re: International travel

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:08 am

Trinucleus wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:13 pm
Looks like a lot of cash will be involved. Next question is sanitising the money - boiling water over couns, but need to see if it affects the notes, otherwise will just quarantine the change for a week
Boiling water may damage the notes' holograms or other security features.

One option might be to leave the notes in the sun. The UV radiation should do the trick. (Its a method for sterilizing water if other methods aren't available).

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Re: International travel

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:00 am

Bugger.

Back in November we'd decided to go to the Italian lakes by train. We booked a house near lake Garda, the plan being train to London, then Paris then down into Italy. Big deposit paid. Then COVID hit, but we hung on. We then changed our plans to Eurotunnel to France and drive down, stopping in Basel for the night and so paid the rest for the house.

Supposed to go a week today. I'm guessing now it's all off...

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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:28 am

FlammableFlower wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:00 am
Bugger.

Back in November we'd decided to go to the Italian lakes by train. We booked a house near lake Garda, the plan being train to London, then Paris then down into Italy. Big deposit paid. Then COVID hit, but we hung on. We then changed our plans to Eurotunnel to France and drive down, stopping in Basel for the night and so paid the rest for the house.

Supposed to go a week today. I'm guessing now it's all off...
Yeah I don't know if you'll be allowed in, having been in France. A direct flight would have been ok.
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Re: International travel

Post by lpm » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:32 am

There is nothing (currently) stopping that journey. No restrictions on France. However, within the next week Italy might impose a restriction on arrivals from France (and/or Switzerland).

Coming home you'd be going against the flow, from cool area, to medium, to hot Covid areas.

On arrival in the UK you face quarantine. But this isn't border guards with guns herding you into a restricted hostel to serve your time. It's some bored bloke handing you a leaflet which vaguely asks if you perhaps don't mind quarantining a bit whenever you feel like it. Zero tracking, zero enforcement.
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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:41 am

lpm wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:32 am
There is nothing (currently) stopping that journey. No restrictions on France. However, within the next week Italy might impose a restriction on arrivals from France (and/or Switzerland).

Coming home you'd be going against the flow, from cool area, to medium, to hot Covid areas.

On arrival in the UK you face quarantine. But this isn't border guards with guns herding you into a restricted hostel to serve your time. It's some bored bloke handing you a leaflet which vaguely asks if you perhaps don't mind quarantining a bit whenever you feel like it. Zero tracking, zero enforcement.
That's true. Italy is currently imposing tests on arrivals from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain. And I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow after I arrive in the UK from Italy (from which quarantine is not mandatory) but as far as I remember the quarantine rules are "apart from if you need to go out". I.e. less strict than they were here during the lockdown for someone who wasn't subject to quarantine.
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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:50 am

One issue may be the limits on occupancy of high-speed trains.

Another issue may be that whatever the rules are, you just decide that travelling for fun might not be personally worth the risk of catching and/or spreading a virus with a 2% fatality rate.
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Re: International travel

Post by lpm » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:06 am

Being in a car the whole way is safe, the Eurotunnel is pretty safe because you stay in cars, service stations along the way are safe if you take care.

Going out to indoor restaurants/bars in Italy would be the risky part, but this can be avoided or limited.

Hard to see why this holiday would be any riskier than staying in the plague lands of England.
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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:43 am

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020 ... -france-qa

Basel doesn't have many cases (only 5 cases in hospital, none in intensive case), but then it's a relatively small city.

Northern Italy is generally fine these days.
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Gfamily
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Re: International travel

Post by Gfamily » Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:15 am

We've just booked our return from France for mid September, but someone staying at the astronomy centre next door ( who only arrived yesterday afternoon) has set off home again, hoping to be able to get on a ferry - despite not having a ticket.

So as far as we can tell he'll have a 9 hour drive, and then be stuck in a queue for the ferry port for hours and still have to self isolate regardless.

We'll register for Ocado deliveries ready for when we get back.
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Re: International travel

Post by JQH » Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:42 pm

Seems like the best plan. If I was in France right now I'd not want the stress of trying to get back early.
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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:43 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... s-covid-19
Shapps said during a TV interview that people arriving in the UK from France would have to isolate for 14 days from Sunday, but the move is actually coming into force at 4am on Saturday.
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lpm
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Re: International travel

Post by lpm » Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:15 pm

The binary of zero or 14 days is causing all this silliness.

There should be a formula. Quarantine length Q = a + b(t1- t0) + c(V/(R-1)). Hand out spreadsheets to people arriving at Dover.
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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Fri Aug 14, 2020 3:27 pm

no u have teh moar covid says France, as the French government threatened retaliation after being removed from the UK safe travel list following a spike in coronavirus cases.
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Re: International travel

Post by basementer » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:18 pm

lpm wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:15 pm
The binary of zero or 14 days is causing all this silliness.

There should be a formula. Quarantine length Q = a + b(t1- t0) + c(V/(R-1)). Hand out spreadsheets to people arriving at Dover.
The singularity at R=1 presents a quandary: should one quarantine them for positive or negative infinity days?
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Re: International travel

Post by lpm » Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:37 pm

Chris Grayling supplied the equation, ask him not me.
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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:35 pm

Bergamo airport was relatively quiet for an August weekend. The roped-off meanders for queuing were much longer than usual but nobody was in them. The usual unpacking/repacking chaos at security though.

Some of the shops were open (bear in mind it was late on Ferragosto evening) and just about all the food options were open. The piano is still there. The leaving-Schengen gate area has been expanded and renovated, there are even e-Passport gates to get to it. There still wouldn't have been enough seats at the gate for a full 737 even without the rule on only sitting in alternate seats. They haven't finished the food court which will be upstairs in that area.

Everyone was wearing masks.

Took a while for the doors to close after everyone was boarded, I don't know why. Ryanair obviously can't turn an aircraft around in 25 minutes anymore because of the extra cleaning which is required so we got on one which had obviously been parked under the sun for a while rather than the one which had just arrived from East Midlands. There's now a rule that if you want the toilet you have to push the call bell, to avoid that non-socially-distance queue forms. It's not entirely clear if people were able to follow this simple instruction. Meanwhile the disembording chaos was the same as usual but 30 people were allowed off at a time to not overload the bus taking people to the terminal.

(There's a covered walkway taking you in to Arrivals and the bus seems to make a special effort to drop people at the far end of it.)

Again at EMA the meander for passport control was double the length and nobody was in it but at least it now goes straight to the e-Passport gates so that was fast; nobody asked to check if I'd completed a Passenger Locator Form of course. (It occurs to me that if they know that all the passengers on a flight have completed it, because the form asks for flight number and passport number, they don't need to check anyone, but if they know that there's even just one person on the flight who hasn't, they need to check everyone to find that person; either that or they get flagged at the passport control, but I doubt that would happen, given what happened to me that time at Bristol.)

The only ones in the airport who weren't wearing masks were my mum and my sister who'd come to pick me up "oh I have it in the car" well that's no good is it?
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Re: International travel

Post by shpalman » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:25 am

Out of 10 cases in Como yesterday, 9 of them were young people who'd just got back from Croatia.

(The average dropped below 10 new cases per day two months ago.)
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