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Travelling outside the UK

Old 18th Feb 2022, 19:52
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
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Travelling outside the UK

Over half term I took the bin-lids away for a week to Switzerland. While here they agreed that people didn't have to wear masks apart from on public transport.
Prior to that it seemed people were 100% behind masks.
We chose against France because of the vitriol from Macron - although the tourist businesses are now up in arms that the Brits are staying away and the revenue is kaput.
(The amount of closed shops in the Swiss Alps was noticeable).
So countries are now realising that Omicron has done us a solid and they need to start opening up pronto and rules are being relaxed.
Travelling out last week, we did the NHS App - all vaxed, a covid test to travel (now dropped) forms for the UK and transit through France.
A folder for each person - 20 pages each, non of which link together.
Then on returning some complete and utter bolleux called a Passenger Locator Form to come back into the UK requiring the upload of a QR code that may or may not be provided by the NHS travel app. The form which is filled in on the UK Gov website (Super Big Brother as you have to create an account), doesn't link to the NHS APP - so you cannot upload the QR Code.
What complete pillock designed the system to create stress for all travellers.
The form can only be completed 48 hours before travel...on a half term holiday weekend, the Gov website crashed and so did the LeShuttle server - do they ever employ advisors who think through scenarios or look at the school holiday timetable.
I have wasted 2 complete days filling in forms and been stifled by non joined up Government systems.
Some joker will blame Brexit, but really its just idiots and yes men unable to join the dots.

My advice - don't travel for another couple of months and then avoid France - until they need us.
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Old 18th Feb 2022, 21:42
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Join Date: Apr 2020
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[QUOTE=Spunky Monkey;11186309n - although the tourist businesses are now up in arms that the Brits are staying away and the revenue is kaput.
.[/QUOTE]

Not really. Our local paper, Le Dauphiné Libéré - covering all the major ski-areas in France - has had numerous articles recently rejoicing about the return of the British skiers and I see from our local web-site that most chalet-companies catering to Brits are also full. The reporting generally is about a major upsurge of all nationalities after an enforced lull since March 2020 and perhaps 10% down overall ( but I forget against which year ) due to masks/no Brits/testing/ health pass for restaurants and bars.

I returned to the UK for a month in January - my first trip under Covid restrictions - and I was astonished by all the rigmarole and secrecy involved in getting test-results. I thought at the time that the complexity, worry and cost for a family must have been truly staggering.
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Old 18th Feb 2022, 21:46
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southwold
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It's Brexit stupid! - And France won't need us, they get flooded with tourists from everywhere else.
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Old 18th Feb 2022, 22:58
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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You did not waste two complete days filling out forms. You’re having a hissy fit. I’ve been commuting to and from work into and out of the eu since day dot of the pandemic. The grand total time I have spent filling out the forms and doing the required testing both ways I’d say is about 5/6 hours in 2 years.and I’ve just checked my phone. That’s 52 flights.
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Old 18th Feb 2022, 23:03
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
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Originally Posted by Effluent Man View Post
It's Brexit stupid! - And France won't need us, they get flooded with tourists from everywhere else.
Not in the skiing sense. There are areas of the alps where the Brits are the lion's share of the punters. Some areas 60%. The 3 Valleys is one, Chamonix, Les Arcs etc. I've been out in Jan- chatting to business owners, they are glad to see us, though not enough of us. I will do my bit in March!

As for forms, yes a ballache, but half term is mental; and 2 years worth of pent-up, no-skiing has added to that.

CG
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 05:19
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Uk
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by Spunky Monkey View Post
Over half term I took the bin-lids away for a week to Switzerland. While here they agreed that people didn't have to wear masks apart from on public transport.
Prior to that it seemed people were 100% behind masks.
We chose against France because of the vitriol from Macron - although the tourist businesses are now up in arms that the Brits are staying away and the revenue is kaput.
(The amount of closed shops in the Swiss Alps was noticeable).
So countries are now realising that Omicron has done us a solid and they need to start opening up pronto and rules are being relaxed.
Travelling out last week, we did the NHS App - all vaxed, a covid test to travel (now dropped) forms for the UK and transit through France.
A folder for each person - 20 pages each, non of which link together.
Then on returning some complete and utter bolleux called a Passenger Locator Form to come back into the UK requiring the upload of a QR code that may or may not be provided by the NHS travel app. The form which is filled in on the UK Gov website (Super Big Brother as you have to create an account), doesn't link to the NHS APP - so you cannot upload the QR Code.
What complete pillock designed the system to create stress for all travellers.
The form can only be completed 48 hours before travel...on a half term holiday weekend, the Gov website crashed and so did the LeShuttle server - do they ever employ advisors who think through scenarios or look at the school holiday timetable.
I have wasted 2 complete days filling in forms and been stifled by non joined up Government systems.
Some joker will blame Brexit, but really its just idiots and yes men unable to join the dots.

My advice - don't travel for another couple of months and then avoid France - until they need us.
Talk about a whinge. You do not need to create an account. That is an option if you travel lots so you don’t need to keep entering details each time. If you don’t want to create an account… just click continue without setting up an account.

You do not have to do anything with the NHS covid pass if you don’t want to. Again it expressly states you can add a screenshot of the QR code if you want to speed up your entry. If you don’t want to fine. They will ask to see proof at either the airport or immigration.

I have never seen the site go down for 48 hours. More like 30 minutes max.

The form takes no more than 5 minutes start to finish and is much easier than most countries. Most countries have some sort of passenger locator form in various names such as health declaration form and what not.
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 07:09
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Back to Boeing
Me too, and as you say it is not that difficult, though perhaps we have become used to it.
Cheers
Mr Mac
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 07:49
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Join Date: Feb 2001
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Well that was a good whinge…

It’s interesting to see that as British residents have started traveling again there seem to have been an increasing number of rants on social media about how unfair France/Spain/Italy etc are being. All that is demonstrating is that for some there is absolutely zero awareness about how complicated it was for non-residents to visit Britain even when the UK had opened up to some extent last year…

Maybe since many Brits were not traveling they were never really aware of PLFs, Day 2 test, day whatever tests, and the gem that for a while vaccines, regardless of brand, not administered by the NHS didn’t count (possibly still don’t) for some purposes such as determining whether isolation was required if you pinged whilst on your flight…

None of that down to Macron or the EU. When I came up to the UK for domestic purposes late last summer I was clutching multiple bits of paperwork so trying to make out having to have a file to enter France is a big deal and uniquely evil????

And whilst I can’t vouch for the Alpine resorts our local ones (Pyrenees) are doing very well ATM.






Last edited by wiggy; 19th Feb 2022 at 09:39.
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 08:17
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Bali H'ai
Posts: 427
You've never had it so good

As you travel further afield the SOPs become more frustrating, let me tell you about some hoops and barrels to enable a 48 hour visit to England.
Sunday 6th apply for Home Quarantine in Malaysia.
Friday 11th take RT-PCR test for flight to U.K., but not for entry in to England, it was to enable a 90 minute stopover in Singapore.
Also on 11th I registered an account for the Passenger Location Form which was intuitive in following my itinerary to England, via Singapore and Amsterdam.
Third item on 11th apply for RT-PCR to take me home through Singapore and into Malaysia. This test was taken in Cambridge on14th.
Check in at Heathrow on 15th and show PCR test result, Home Quarantine Approval, double dose and booster vaccination certificate and proof of Malaysian residency.
Eventually land Wednesday evening 16th in Kuala Lumpur where I have yet another RT-PCR and get issued with a digital tracker and Black Box to watch over me at Home.
And today 19th I took the check out RT-PCR test that will hopefully tomorrow release me from the shackles of Home Quarantine.
Four RT-PCR tests in 7 days, that PLF was a doddle.
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 09:23
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Brizzle
Posts: 149
I've been travelling to Spain monthly since September 21, the paperwork is easy both ways so long as you know what you have to do. I can knock up two PLFs in less than 15 mins.

The problems come from those who have not travelled since Spring 20. One work colleague of mine last month thought he would just rock up to the airport with his passport and jump onboard. I had to take him through the whole process, both ways.
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 10:03
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Join Date: Apr 2020
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Originally Posted by charliegolf View Post
There are areas of the alps where the Brits are the lion's share of the punters. Some areas 60%. The 3 Valleys is one, Chamonix, Les Arcs etc. I've been out in Jan- chatting to business owners, they are glad to see us, though not enough of us. I will do my bit in March!
CG
Sorry CG, that's factually wrong. I live in a resort in the 3 Valleys and take a keen interest in local life, skiing and news. There is no resort the Brits are ever in the majority: in Val d'Isere and Méribel the numbers can touch 40% ( see link ) but in Courchevel, Les Menuires and Val Thorens the greatest number of foreign visitors will be Dutch, Belgian, Scandinavian. Chamonix and Les Arcs are certainly not areas where the British are especially significant - don't know where that idea arose. The number of British skiers in France is very important, but at the moment - according the the Meribel bar/hotel owners quoted - less important than usual because there is such pressure from other nations to get back on the snow that they are taking up the slack.

https://www.franceinter.fr/societe/s...ns-les-anglais
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 13:34
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Elsewhere
Posts: 277
My son came from Germany to visit us in Devon at Christmas, I wrote down the sequence of events while it was fresh in my mind. The locator form in both directions wa the least of his worries.

Daniels Travel Tribulations Christmas 2021
Plan A:
Daniel visits from Germany on Saturday 18th December until Boxing Day,
Anti-Gen test in Hückelhoven on Friday.
Train on Saturday from Baal to Frankfurt.
Fly to Bristol.
PCR test in Bristol city centre.
Drive to Paignton.
On Christmas Eve Anti-Gen test at Exeter Airport.
Boxing Day fly back Bristol to Frankfurt.
Train to Baal.
Test again in Hückelhoven the next day.
And relax.

He arrived as planned, had a PCR test in Bristol which he received the result of at 1800 on Sunday 19th, but today the RKI has changed the rules concerning the return journey. Cancel Plan A.

Plan B:
He will need to have a negative PCR test in the 72 hour period before he flies back on Boxing Day, and then he must self-isolate for two weeks once he gets there.
He had a "Fit to Fly" Anti-Gen test at Exeter Airport booked for Christmas Eve but that is no longer sufficient. Cancel Anti-Gen test.
He found a clinic in the City of Exeter that will do a PCR test on Thursday afternoon and provide the result by 09:00 next morning.
He had the PCR test on Thursday afternoon within the 72 hour window prior to travel. The test result was emailed early Christmas Eve.
When he returned home he found that while he had been getting the PCR test the RKI had changed the rules again, they have changed it from 72 hours prior to 48.
Cancel Plan B.

Plan C:
After scouring the internet he found one lab that could do a PCR test on Christmas Eve and provide the result the same day.
In Truro, a 320km round trip.
The result came through four hours after the test was taken.
Boxing Day fly back Bristol to Frankfurt.
Train to Baal.
Self-incarcerate for two weeks. The public health people visited twice to ensure compliance.
All tests were Covid Negative.
All travel related Covid tests must be paid for by the traveller.


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Old 19th Feb 2022, 13:41
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Join Date: Apr 2004
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There is no resort the Brits are ever in the majority
Tartiflette Fan, fair enough, I don't think I worded it very well. But, after the French, the Brits are a way bigger contingent than any other visitor country at about 9% in 2019 according to Statistica. That's a chunk of revenue to lose, especially when that country is felt to have been singled out for special conditions.

CG
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Old 19th Feb 2022, 19:44
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 9,143
Daughter in law born Mexican but married to a brit, living in London and dual nationality invited to a old school friends house in Italy last Sunday, got on to the Web booked flights and arrange upload of Covid report for flight on the next day. Talk about spur of the moment, all went smoothly. Returned on Friday gone having had a girly time for 4 days, shops, cafe Museums all open only masks indoors...
So if you expect difficulties they will find you.
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Old 20th Feb 2022, 03:19
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 123
Mrs T and I entered Germany once in July, again in September, followed by the UK in November. I can’t say it was all that challenging to enter the two countries. Now returning home to Canada….quite a different story.
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Old 20th Feb 2022, 08:57
  #16 (permalink)  

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Commander Taco, oh yes, happily Canada seems to be easing some of the more onerous demands to enter. I'll see how it all goes on March 1st
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