Author Topic: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT  (Read 3276 times)

Offline Jerry19

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Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« on: May 09, 2021, 02:40:04 PM »
We thought we would share our experience on our return to the UK on 7th May 2021.
We knew that we had to have a NEGATIVE Covid 19 Test before travelling and went to see Dr Manolis at the Medical Centre for advice. We showed him the specifications as identified on the GOV website and he gave us the choice of going to Rethymno for a PCR Test at ?60 each or taking the Antigen Rapid Test at the Medical Centre at ?20 each. We saw him the day before we left!!  The test took 15 minutes in total and involved a long thin cotton bud up your nose. Pain and discomfort free.

We were also aware that we needed to book a Day 2 and Day 8 Test in the UK. You have to book these before you fly because the registered test number needs to go on the Passenger Locator Form. On the GOV website there are a load of companies identified who are able to provide the test, ranging in price from ?159 per person for the 2 tests to ?540 for the 2 tests. Book early - we booked 5 days before we travelled and the cheaper options were sold out. We ended up paying ?175. each.

On the day of travel, armed with the Passenger Locator Forms, the Negative Test Certificates, and Proof that we had booked our 2 tests in the UK we headed for Chania for the flight to Athens.

Apart from the usual Passport bit there were no checks at all at Chania, but at Athens check-in to Stanstead, the check-in staff went through every document required for entry into the UK. Most people got checked again at the entry to the departure lounge. We didn't.... This may have been because at check-in the lady gave us a slip of paper which showed that our documents had already been reviewed in detail. The people that got checked at the departure lounge may have check-in in online and had no luggage and therefore bypassed the check-in desk.

Interesting point, when we went through passport control at Athens, the officer was obviously concerned about the wife and my passports. It eventually transpired that he was looking for an entry stamp to Greece in the passport and there wasn't one. We had entered on 7th November - pre brexit - and had been in Crete for 6 months. Everything was OK once we showed him our Residency Permits (the new type) and he stamped our passports with an exit stamp. Not sure if this means you have to get your passport stamped every time you you enter, or only if you are anticipating staying more than 90 days!!!!

When we got to Stanstead there was a hours queuing as the Border Agency again checked every document. The wait was mainly due to people not having there documents ready when they got to the desk, despite the notices telling them what was required....

The NHS have since phoned us 3 times in 2 days to warn us that we must stay at the address on the Passenger Locator Form and that we might get a visit to ensure we are where we're supposed to be. On reflection I should have put my address as  Golf Club.....

Hope this is some help to would be travellers - we can't wait to get back - its chucking with rain and miserable....I need a Mythos and the wife a Metaxa....

Jerry & Lin



Offline reddiablo

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2021, 04:08:32 PM »
best of luck guys
we are coming from Tampa Florida late july
delayed one year  to place a mythos on my late brothers memorial stone
overlooking souda on the bend near souda mare
we are told USA residents with proof of double jab are clear to travel
I've booked and paid for aegean Athens to chain
paid the fare allowing changes with no penalty
my partner is delta airline retiree and I have same non rev privilege
so we are listed jfk to Athens July 22
we are only 2 on stand by list   250 seats open as of today
I believe there is a rapid test on arrival at Athens airport
looking fwd to celebrating my 70th birthday august 4 at souda bay
mammas
I hope the travel goes smooth for all concerned


Offline Arnaki

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2021, 12:17:05 PM »
Thanks for sharing your experience, Jerry and Lin. Perhaps more forumers can post their experiences here as the season progresses, with hints about pre-return flight testing especially.

I have my fingers tightly crossed for our holiday at the end of August. We were lucky enough to get to Plakias twice last year, even if our November holiday ended in lockdown.

Good luck everyone in your travels and best wishes to all the businesses who rely on tourists. Have a good season!

Offline ostraco

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2021, 04:32:22 PM »
Thanks for the detailed information. I'm watching with interest and concern!
I managed to get to Plakias in September last year: it was a great break after lockdown - even if we did have to leave the bars at midnight!

This year I'm hoping to visit again in September. We have flights booked (refunds or rebooking possible) and accommodation reserved (no-fee cancellation).

All we can do at this stage, I think, is to wait and hope. Being retired, I have no concerns about returning from an orange list country - I just hope Greece doesn't go red! I'm not prepared to pay ?1750 for 10 days in a UK airport hotel, plus test charges.
John - Ostraco

Offline Andrew

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2021, 03:46:10 PM »
I will have my second jab in late May so if Greece goes green in June then it might all be fairly easy to arrange a holiday in July/September. Does anyone have an idea of formalities required if fully vaccinated, and regarding any tests needed as well or which type of proof required? : ???

Offline ostraco

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2021, 01:59:45 PM »
Good question Andrew.
To be honest, I've not given it a lot of thought to date - I have the attitude that I'll do what it takes to make it happen.
I am watching the news with interest, but the situation seems to be changing so quickly that I don't think there will be any real clarity for weeks.

Another point of concern is regarding how long the vaccine will be regarded as effective. I had my second jab in February - will I be fully protected in September?
John - Ostraco

Offline Richard

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2021, 06:40:56 PM »
We arrived Sat 22nd, and I tried to book a ?72h before departure? PCR test at the new medical centre (https://www.plakias-doctor.gr/, EUR60) earlier today. They wrote back and told me that the rapid test (NADAL COVID-19 Ag rapid antigen test) meets the current UK criteria, is ready in minutes, and costs only EUR20! I?ve booked appointments for 12:00 Friday, for flights on Saturday. I?ll let everyone know how how we get on.

Offline ostraco

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2021, 09:51:30 PM »
That sounds hopeful Richard, and I'll happily pay 20 euros if that enables me to get my holiday in.
Perhaps the price is a reflection of how important tourism is to the local economy!
John - Ostraco

Offline Richard

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2021, 03:24:01 PM »
Well, it works. I filled-in a form on the surgery?s website yesterday, went at 12:00 today, had a nose-swab taken, slightly unpleasant but nothing to complain about, 20mins later had a negative result certificate, hard and electronic copies. Absolutely no bother at all.

Offline ostraco

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2021, 03:37:04 PM »
Nice one Richard!

i noticed yesterday that the NHS app now has a section to show proof of your vaccine status if needed for travel. There is also an option to print a certificate. No indication which countries find this acceptable though!
John - Ostraco

Offline reddiablo

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Re: Return to the UK - COVID & AIRPORT
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2021, 01:56:04 AM »
great
thank you for the info. re Covid test at Plakias
I have to check if the 20 euro one is accepted by USA when we return to New York
hoping to be there July 23 rd at Plakias cyano hotel