We have just returned from two glorious and wonderfully rejuvenating weeks in Crete, Greece. We would absolutely travel again and cannot wait to start planning our next trip as a family. I’ve been asked how we found travelling, managing the new pre departure requirements as well as how we found it in Greece as a whole.
We booked this trip earlier in the year following the UK Government road map announcement. We knew that it was a risk, that it might get delayed or even cancelled but we were prepared for that. As a family we all wanted to escape and begin travelling again. Safely and within our own comfort levels.
So, what can you expect when flying during Covid 19 as a family ?
Pre departure requirements UK/Greece – the biggest concern for us was the UK travel and Greek announcements, we were lucky that the last announcement was a few days before our planned travel date. We did reduce our holiday by 4 days to fall in line with the next planned announcement. We were required to complete a PLF which was straight forward, this was required for both journeys. And it was checked on both journeys. We were also required to take a pre-departure test in Greece and on or before Day 2 in England (see below).
At the airport – We were encouraged to complete self check-in which went smoothly. From everything we had read we expected it to be quiet. It wasn’t, actually it felt quite busy. It was busy in Manchester Airport. We were all required to wear masks, that is the preference and we were all prepared and happy with that. Everyone seemed to wear them also. There were several hand sanitiser stations. Extra cleaning in toilets and communal areas. As well as spaced out seating. We expected shops to be closed, some were but most were open even at 5am. We even managed to treat ourselves in duty free!
On the Ryan Air plane – There were some empty seats, it was certainly much busier on our return flight. We wore our masks for the whole journey. This was required unless eating/drinking. Everyone did. There was food available however we took a packed lunch as we were informed that it wasn’t guaranteed that food would be available. We were instructed to press the light for a visit to the bathroom to prevent queuing, sadly this wasn’t followed and queues did form, the crew managed it well but sadly when they were on service it was abused.
Arriving in Greece – it was quieter than in the UK. It was well marshalled and people were ushered through. Our PLF wasn’t actually checked at the Greek passport control however it was uploaded to Ryan Air as part of our check in documentation so we presume it was checked. It certainly was as we departed the UK.
So, would we plan flying during Covid 19 as a family again?
I think it is safe to say that travel, like any activity that involves coming into contact with other people from different households, is not risk-free even after full vaccination. We booked the type of holiday that we were comfortable with, a self catering apartment rather than a resort. We booked a car so that we could travel out to quieter locations. We arrived early to destinations to miss crowds. We ate out early evening and left before the areas became busier. We continued to take lateral flow tests, washed our hands and used hand sanitiser.
If you are planning on travelling I would recommend you registering for Travel updates on the UK Government website for the country you are travelling to. As we travelled to an Amber list country and have had two COVID-19 vaccinations we were not required to self-isolate on returning to England (* as at 19th July).
We were required to take a pre-departure test up to 72 hours before returning to the UK (we used C19, which we took with us) and a PCR test on or before day two once returned (we used Randox). George was also required to take the Day 2 test.
It is safe to say that travelling isn’t without worry or stress, but the process is straight forward if you do your research. The worst part of travelling was wearing a mask for 8 hours airport to airport. However to be able to travel, to be lucky enough to experience Greece, it really was a small inconvenience.