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The new HFP chat thread – Wednesday 27th May

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We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the defacto repository for random comments and questions.  It is unlikely that the news flow will be so big over the next few weeks that we will need many ‘Bits’ articles, however.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are stuck at home self-isolating, we want the HFP community to have a place to chat.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as its keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

By default, HFP shows the last page of comments under the article.  If you want to see the first page of comments and read them all from beginning to end in order, click here: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/05/27/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-wednesday-27th-may/comment-page-1.  The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

We will continue to monitor how this is working.  Let’s see how it goes.  Take care!

Comments (102)

  • Rupert says:

    I had Covid-19 in early April. It was nasty but I have recovered. I have just had confirmation from a private laboratory that I now test positive for antibodies. The test was PHE approved. The paperwork states that it is Un likely that I would develop the illness in the near future. I am desperate to see my son in the USA. Can anyone point me in the direction that enables me to avoid the 14 quarantine rules on my return if there is such an exemption?

    • Rob says:

      It’s very simple. Fly back to Dublin on Aer Lingus from the US and connect to London from there. This bypasses the quarantine rules. You don’t even pass through UK passport control when coming in from Dublin.

      • Mike says:

        It would not surprise me if Dublin flights will go through standard gates that mean you see a Border Farce person, rather than bypass them. The DUB loophole is too obvious. (domestic UK flights can still use the bypass).

        Still, I’m pretty sure that any quarantine is going to be as tightly enforced as the rest of lockdown, i.e. not at all.

        • Charlieface says:

          Ireland is inside the CTA, ergo you can fly with ID only, no passport, and do not need to pass border control. It’s exactly the same as flying domestic

          • Mike says:

            The authorities can still change where in the airport your plane lands, and whether you need to pass Border Force. Just because you can exit the airport now without passing anyone doesn’t mean it will carry on that way.

            Encouraging people to book flights ex-DUB to avoid quarantine is, imho, irresponsible, as it is not going to work. Unless you’re really determined to take that bus to Belfast.

            I still think there’s a better than 50% chance the UK quarantine is never implemented, and even if it is, nobody will be enforcing it.

      • E says:

        But Ireland has ruled that all overseas arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. So I’m not convinced this would work.

        • Rob says:

          It works. Works the same in the UK – you can still transit.

          • John says:

            From this Thursday you must (as opposed to being simply asked to, as is the case right now) complete a Passenger Locator form even if in transit through Common Travel Area. Expect to be arrested if you fail to comply.

            There’s a box to tick if you’re in transit, and you – obviously – don’t have to fill in details of where you’ll be isolating in ROI. But the idea that you won’t be flagged for attention by UK Border Force when you arrive at GB airport (whether Heathrow, Glasgow etc) is fanciful. There’s very close cooperation.

            If you take aircoach or train to NI, then fly/sail from Belfast to GB, then there’s no Border Force presence on northern side of border (in contrast to Garda Immigration Bureau, especially on Donegal side). So this route probably would work, but a lot of hassle at the end of a long trip.

            Michael O’Leary currently on RTE etc predicting both UK, ROI quarantines will fail (but I imagine not immediately, so definitely wouldn’t try using Dublin airport for this purpose this week or next).

          • Lady London says:

            woof. We need to more of this. Thanks for sharing @John.

          • Michael says:

            Not sure it will work. Ireland and UK share immigration information and have agreements to enforce each other’s immigration rules for those in transit. So if Border Force wanted to know about it they could.

          • John says:

            And Dr O’Leary is back on the airwaves for the nth time today. 800 million of refunds still to process. Stats on British summer advance bookings in last paragraphs.

            https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2020/0527/1142845-ryanair-ceo-on-return-to-flying/

    • J says:

      I don’t think there is currently an exemption for someone with antibodies.

      • Andrew says:

        And regardless of the DUB loophole unless you are a US citizen or resident you are not permitted to enter the USA regardless of any antibody certificate.

      • memesweeper says:

        nor do I think one will be created — much more likely nations will demand certs. of vaccination, if one becomes available.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Anything which involves an “antibody” certificate will ultimately lead to COVID19 parties to get it over and done with.

          Completely the wrong behaviour

    • meta says:

      @ Rupert are you employed or self-employed and can prove that you need to travel for work usually once a week? If you can get your employer to write you a letter, that might help you bypass quarantine. These people are on the exempt list!

  • Rupert says:

    But doesn’t Ireland have its own quarantine rules?

  • Rupert says:

    Thanks Andrew. I can enter the USA. My son is a US citizen under 21 years old. Returning is the issue. I’m trying to do this within the law and not look for loopholes. Flying into Dublin and doing a runner – getting over the border into Northern Ireland would be easy. But I’m not willing to do that. Entering the UK to go into quarantine seems a bit bizarre for me. Has the regulations recognised this?

    • Anna says:

      No, the government stance seems to be that antibody tests are not 100% reliable and don’t guarantee future immunity. There was a report yesterday that they are trying to prevent British laboratories from carrying out private tests, though you would hope that a private facility would be able to decide for itself. However, I think any quarantine requirement will be short lived as it’s not what other European countries are doing after June, on the whole.

      • Andrew says:

        And quarantine really won’t be much different to what we have all been doing for the last two months, so I wouldn’t worry too much, you won’t be made to say at Holiday Inn Ariel!

  • Rich says:

    Not sure if others have reported back yet.

    Converted Heathrow Rewards > BA after the H4P article suggesting it might go through with 100% bonus. They must have fixed it. Only 50% bonus for me, but I was happy with that rate anyway.

  • Rupert says:

    Thanks Anna, this Antibody test was not a home test cheap kit. It was my blood sample sent of to an approved lab by Public Health England. The methodology was also approved with an extremely small chance of an inaccurate result.

    • Anna says:

      Which company did you use? I have been considering doing this but all the signs are that it won’t be recognised by any government unless it’s proven to grant long term immunity.

      • Mike says:

        Hopefully no government will start considering “immunity certificates” from antibody tests, as it encourages undesirable behaviour.

        Many governments have already said exactly this.

        • ankomonkey says:

          +1

        • memesweeper says:

          absolute correct — however, it is very much in the individuals interests to know if they have had it before. Very much a conflict of public v. private interests.

  • Michael C says:

    Gran Canaria has prohibited smoking on beaches. Maybe we’ll at least get a couple of silver linings out of all this.

    • Anna says:

      Will it be enforced though? My Spanish father wasn’t allowed to smoke in the house so he used to go up the road and light his cigar in the local café instead. No-one ever seemed to object, even though there were “Prohibido Fumar” notices up.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        [email protected] Hmmm Spanish Father anywere near Castle defells (prob wrong spelling soz lol)
        stopped there couple years ago (quiet loved the lack of tourists)
        Did you read my post yesterday (Surriento Suites that’s “not” a mis-spelling) near last chat posts
        Happy Birthday Friday bytheway (is Fri your Birthday or just the day you retire

        • Anna says:

          Lol well spotted, actually it’s both, quirk of my pension scheme. Thank you, it’s not going to be the celebration I had planned but at least the weather forecast is good, which isn’t always the case round here, as you will know!

          No, my dad’s family live in Vigo in the North West, jaw-droppingly beautiful region but tricky to get to unlike the popular tourist spots.

          • Chris Heyes says:

            [email protected] Happy retirement as well lol sounds a lovely area, can’t drive so not visited
            Anyhow enjoy your retirement hope you get somewhere nice next year.
            My partner retires next year off to Boulder (Colorado Rockies) then Sedona (Arizona)
            Should have been this Sept Gr
            Do you think i could get away with canceling our Sept flight because of a 30 min flight change
            if not we will wait until nearer it’s only a 241 plus Avios & taxes so could do nearer in case BA cancel

          • Anna says:

            Thanks 😊 Road trip round the American south west is on our to do list as well, it will still be there next year as I’ve been saying to myself a lot recently! You’ve plenty of flexibility with an avios/ 2 4 1 booking, I’d be inclined to cancel nearer the time and get the voucher valid till April 2022.

  • Rupert says:

    It was the London Medical Laboratory. I take the view that nothing with Covid. But after the symptom I had, this Test corroborates my suspicions.

  • Rupert says:

    Sorry, nothing is certain with covid…

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