Covid Travel – Was It Worth It?… Yes and No…
Welcome and thank you for checking back with me. Today, I would like to share with you the Covid travel experience I had this weekend, travelling from the Holiday Inn, Cannock, Staffordshire to London Gatwick and then to board a flight on the 3rd January 2021 to Cyprus.
I share this because a number of my contacts, friends and family have asked what it was like to travel during Covid travel times.
The Holiday Inn, Cannock, Staffordshire.
Due to the Covid restrictions 12 floors of hotel rooms at the Holiday Inn only housed 9 people, all staying because they were in transit between homes, were self isolating or had no other place to stay. I was in the self isolation bracket!
A clear sign of the times and Covid has affected our lives in so many ways, with hospitality businesses like the Holiday Inn providing a skeleton staff and all public areas closed with residents self isolating in their rooms. Following negative Covid tests I stayed at the Holiday Inn on the 10th floor for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year in self isolation. It was a hassle at first because two previous places to this were just not Covid friendly and I had to re-locate, pack and unpack 3 times before I could settle into the hotel back on the 22nd December 2020.
Nothing was too much trouble for the receptionist and the person providing 24/7 support from the front desk. A quick phone call got you what you asked for with everything being brought to your room and left outside. They also kindly bought me a bottle of Prosecco for Xmas.
Creativity and resourcefulness kicked in here because, in times of the Covid 19 pandemic, I have found that hotels are renting out their car parking spaces. A great website for this is Your Parking Space. On my return to Cyprus, I left my UK car at the back of the hotel for just £20 a month!
Covid Travel. Why Bother? Great Question…
Can I travel? Should I travel? Is it safe and many other questions were popping into my head?
To put myself through all the hoops, location form filling, obtaining flight passes, Covid tests, face mask wearing, sanitisation, loneliness in self isolation and see my son as my support bubble, to answer the questions it depended on how big my why was in the first place, I suppose?… My reasons.
When I did go out, I got to see my son and his partner as my support bubble and spend Christmas and New Year with them. Family are important and at times like these that comes home to you even more. For example, you realise that empty sports grounds and not being able to go and watch sport live is not really that important in the scheme of things. Family is and you may have your ‘for and against’ views on doing Covid travel. For me I decided to travel from Cyprus, follow all the Covid rules, self isolate and just be with my support bubble.
When I took ‘me’ out of it and looked at why would I want to do this, the ‘big reasons’ to do so, it became about my son and his partner having my company at Christmas and New Year. My self serving reasons became insignificant and then I just had to look at the risks, the possibilities and what did I need to do?
The fact that I had to be holed up in a hotel for 2 weeks in Cannock, Staffordshire, United Kingdom and only see my son as a part of my support bubble was a direct consequence of making the decision to do Covid travel. The goal was to get to the UK and see my son. That had to be planned out and decide on the actions needed to execute the plan. A part of the steps needed was to be in self isolation in the UK hotel and now on my return to Cyprus to be in 10 days quarantine. 7 days in the Anonymous Hotel, and a further 3 days back at my second home in Cyprus next week. During this time not being able to go out at all.
Not being able to go out at all, Mark? Yes, that’s right and have food delivered to your hotel door each day. That does not matter. Victim mentality must absolutely not raise it’s head here. Own it. You took the decision to do Covid travel and now you have to do whatever is necessary in line with government guidelines.
The Covid infection rates in the UK and worldwide are going crazy, a new Covid variant has raised it’s head and many people are dying from this. Some talk of it all being a sham, being started from China and many other speculative theories are around. Everyone seems to have a social media opinion on this. However, let’s remember this is real and impacting our lives daily. Those with specialist knowledge around this topic advise our Governments on the restrictions needed and it would seem that they are doing their level best to control the spread of the virus.
Daily the health services put their lives at risk caring for those in hospital with the virus and are doing a sterling job and continue to be applauded, rightly so. And… as I say… many are dying from this. Okay, fair enough Mark but what’s the point? If you make a decision to do Covid travel take ownership of the consequences of that decision. Being holed up in isolation in quarantine in hotels is not a major sacrifice when you consider how it is impacting the health services, families, friends and loved ones around the world. Just do it and be grateful. I am!
Covid Travel Image Gallery
Covid Travel – Stay At The Premier Inn and Then Fly Out of Gatwick Airport to Larnaca, Cyprus
Having hired a car to get from the Holiday Inn hotel down to Gatwick Airport I stayed overnight at the Premier Inn. A desolate experience because, again, hardly anyone was staying at the hotel. The exception here, of course, is that those staying were travelling from Gatwick Airport to ongoing destinations from the North terminal, which conveniently is just across the road. Good because I needed to drop off four suitcases at the Easy Jet bag drop. See the images above lol.
Having wandered around Gatwick Airport the night before my flight to check out what the set up was, I retired for the evening. The following morning I went across the road from the Premier Inn with my bags and dropped them two hours before my flight at the bag drop.
Covid Travel – London Gatwick Security Checks
At the bag drop my experience, which would be yours, is that you have to show your flight pass, passport and evidence of meeting the criteria to be allowed into Cyprus, in my case proof of residency. Currently, as at January 2021 tourists are not allowed entry into Cyprus.
Once you are permitted to drop your bags you make your way through to departures and to the security checks. You have to give them a ticket that you are given at the bag drop showing that your documents have been checked. Only then will you be allowed through to the security checks. As long as you wear a mask and observe social distancing it is a relatively simple procedure to get through to the departure lounges from security. Nothing out of the ordinary to what you will already be used to doing.
Covid Travel – London Gatwick Departures
Phew, I made it and got through to departures at Gatwick Airport. After Christmas and New Year with my son and his partner, it is time to do the return trip and follow Covid guidelines to get back to Cyprus.
What is it like Mark? If you review again what I have written above you will see that it was quite onerous and whether you will do it will depend on your ‘why’. I had to show my Cypriot immigration papers, Cyprus flight pass, advise them that I was to be Covid tested on arrival in Cyprus, show my boarding pass, passport and a ticket to show my flight documents had been checked. Only then was I allowed to check my luggage in, go through security and arrive in departures for the flight. Not many food outlets open though, if at all!
Covid Travel – Flying with Easy Jet
On the flight with Easy Jet I found it to be very Covid friendly. No one sat next to me, I had to wear a mask in the airport and also continually on the flight for 4.5 hours and also on arrival into Larnaca Airport. Apart from some rowdy army lads on the flight emptying the plane of wine it was a relaxing flight. I read a book that my son had given me for Xmas, Freddy Flintoff, Right Said Fred. A great read.
On arrival into Larnaca Airport, Cyprus, along with everybody else off the flight, I was escorted onto a bus and taken to a secure area to pay 55 Euros for a Covid test and have the test carried out.
The result will be available within 24 hours through an online portal and it proved to be negative, which relieved some anxiety on my part.
From the secure area we went through to border control and again I had to show the flight pass and immigration papers to the police officer, namely proof of residency. On being allowed through more police and army officials were waiting for me to escort me onto a bus and I was then taken to the Anonymous Hotel hotel in Ayia Napa, Cyprus for 7 days quarantine with another test to be given at the end of the 7 days.
If the COVID test given at the end of the 7 days quarantine in the hotel is again negative, I will be allowed home and I will then have to quarantine for a further 3 days back at my second home in Cyprus next week. During this time I am not able to go out at all. But hey… that’s cool and okay!
After this I will then be released back into the Community subject to local Covid restrictions. Travel will then be off the agenda for me until Covid settles down.
Covid Travel – Lockdown at the Anonymous Hotel, Ayia Napa, Cyprus
As I write and update this covid travel article I am actually experiencing this now. It is quarantine day 4 of 7, not that I am counting, and should you choose to take the same journey that I have then you may find it helpful to learn what will happen on arrival at the quarantine hotel in Cyprus. It maybe a similar experience at other hotels around the world, I don’t know?
Being locked up in a small hotel room for 7 days quarantine is by no means an easy thing to do. I can see how many may not cope with the isolation, the loneliness, lack of freedom, strong mindsets needed, perseverance of health issues and the daily grind of getting through the day. What has helped me is to read Andrew Flintoff’s book, blog daily, watch Netflix films at night, connect over the internet with friends and family and work on my online business and match betting.
Staying focused and having structure I find to be really helpful in these circumstances. However, as I have said earlier in this article let’s remember it is not about me/us. It is about why this was done in the first place and that the quarantine was a choice that was made and a direct result of the decision to do Covid travel.
Nevertheless, it is till tough to do but someone is always worse off and would you agree that we should be grateful for each day?
Andrew Flintoff – Right Said Fred
I have found it interesting to be reading Andrew Flintoff’s book, Right Said Fred. You can learn more and get your copy through Amazon by clicking on the banner link below.
Andrew has a whole chapter in the book devoted to Lockdown, in fact called Lockdown, Lockdown. I found myself agreeing with Andrew. Here is what he said. “I had to isolate for a week before lockdown proper, because I’d just got back from Australia. That was difficult, because it’s the most natural thing in the world to walk through the door after being away a few weeks and give everyone a cuddle.”
“I spent most of my isolation in a bedroom on the top floor, despite not having symptoms, and give it to other people, it still didn’t feel right. Not only could I not touch anyone, I couldn’t be within 2 metres of anyone. I was like Jane Eyre’s madwoman in the attic, imprisoned in my own house. Or the Invisible Man. I could see everything going on around me but couldn’t interact with anything. I wasn’t even allowed to touch inanimate objects, and almost as soon as my clothes came off, my missus was carrying on as if they had to be incinerated. Maybe they were?”
I get it Andrew, I’m on day 4 of 7. I’m also in a bedroom on the top floor of a hotel and don’t have any symptoms. I’m the invisible man locked away. However, the internet, social media and having an online business really help with the isolation and lockdown and I am grateful for that and for each day.
Below I share an image of the corridor outside my room. This is what it has come too. Leaving your rubbish, dirty towels and everything on stools outside for hotel staff to collect and they bring you food to your room and knock the door and leave it on the stool. However, its’ okay. I am grateful to the government for sponsoring all this and going to these lengths to protect us all. The 7days will soon be over!
Covid Travel. Was It Worth It?
Was it worth all the effort Mark?
No… because it was quite a challenge to do everything that was required and the hassle factor would make me not want to do this again until we can re-gain our freedom and be free of Covid 19.
Now I can look back on it, I am glad I did the Covid travel but perhaps I wouldn’t do it again for a while. Time for travel time out!
It’s been an interesting challenge flying back and forth to U.K. in December 2020 on 4 different flights, along with compliance with guidelines for travel on London Underground, trains, coaches, car hire, hotels, support bubbles, airports in Luton, Athens, Larnaca and Gatwick and isolating myself. It’s been an eye opening experience!
Travel is still possible if you meet the criteria and like anything it depends on how big your why is.. to do it in the first place. For me that was to be with family and because I had rented/sold my U.K. house I had nowhere else to go in the U.K. anymore so I isolated myself in a hotel for 2 weeks over Christmas and New Year and just saw my family as my support bubble.
I can return now to Cyprus as a legal resident and I am so happy I flew to Cyprus in December 2020 to sort that out with the immigration department because otherwise I would be stranded in the U.K. on a full lockdown with no address apart from costly hotels.
Tourists cannot currently fly to Cyprus. You have to be a legal resident or Cypriot National. Let’s see how all this progresses but be safe and well everyone and a happy and prosperous 2021 to you all. Rest up. Have a great day. Love to all. Mark Ford
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Mark Ford – Home Business Lifestyle Consultant, loyally stepping up for others SO THAT they are given inner peace. Business Website: Nice Money Publications.com
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