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The new HFP chat thread – Saturday 15th August

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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 de facto 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:  The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HFP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (111)

  • meta says:

    Iceland is a no go from next week unless you can quarantine for 4-5 days on arrival!

    • BJ says:

      4-5 days?

      • meta says:

        Yes, because you take first test on arrival. Then need to self-isolate for 4-5 days before taking another test. If negative, then you’re free.

        • BJ says:

          So from the UK POV todays headline in the Telegraph might not be as promising as it seems.

        • Sandgrounder says:

          They haven’t published the full details yet, the announcement says ‘quarantine’ at one point and ‘special precautions’ later on. ‘Self isolation’ is a third, more restrictive, set of rules to be followed if you have symptoms. Under quarantine in Iceland you can drive, go out for exercise, but that say to avoid shops and restaurants. There are several hotels around the country that will accept you and provide rooms service, people report driving the ring road and not breaking the rules. ‘Special precautions’ are the measures residents need to take in between tests right now, this is basically what we need to do in the UK minus masks- stay away from the vulnerable, no hugging or handshakes, stay 2m away where possible etc. TBH, I practiced this as a good tourist anyway knowing that I could have a new infection the test had missed. I look forward to the full guidance being published, I quite fancy another trip towards the end of September.

          • meta says:

            I think it’s pretty clear from this announcement what it will mean.

            « During this period, all arriving passengers must stay in quarantine in case of a possible infection. »


            I’ll be cancelling next week my mid-September trip. Luckily BA cancelled my outbound flight to Reykjavik, so free cancellation!

          • Sandgrounder says:

            The announcement mentions ‘special precautions’, which is a particular set of restrictions defined on The ‘visiting iceland’ page of this website has not been updated with the new restrictions, it’s still the July 31 guidance. Digging further into the FAQs though, it does look like it will be ‘quarantine’ rather than ‘special precautions’.

          • Sandgrounder says:

            “Those who test negative in the second PCR-test are no longer required to take special precautions.”

  • William R B says:

    Although Germany and Switzerland are on the ‘safe list’ if you are returning to the UK from either country through Basel-Mulhouse-Euroairport you will be transiting France and will have to quarantine on arrival in the UK: buried in the small print! Only way to avoid is to return from Zurich or a German Airport.

    • John says:

      As if people from France can’t take a train to Zurich or Stuttgart…

      Though for some reason yesterday at BSL I saw lots of people from France cross into the Swiss sector before checking in…nobody is monitoring the customs point

    • Joe says:

      We in Switzerland are expecting to be added any day.

      We will just fly from Stuttgart. If Germany goes then Italy. Really the quarantine is such a stupid idea. Just test at the border and do an absolute ban from genuinely dangerous countries (indian subcontinent, most the americas).

      Seems pretty clear looking at where the local flare ups in the UK are taking place that its the south asian communities that need monitoring.

  • Jane says:

    can someone confirm that it is 1am I need tonight for reward seat release at T-355 and not midnight? don’t want to be an hour late !

  • faz says:

    i dont know if this is mentioned already, im booked to go dubai next week and returning via frankfurt
    im also a healthcare professional
    do i have to quarantine on return to the uk

    • Harry T says:

      Possible exemptions for healthcare workers but I’d argue it isn’t ethical. I am an NHS doctor and I personally wouldn’t try to get out of quarantine, even though I’m reasonably sure I could.

      Scratch that, the exemption has been removed:
      “ The exemption from the requirement to self-isolate for registered health or care professionals was removed on Friday 31 July 2020.

      If you fall into this group and you arrived in England on or after 31 July you will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country or territory that is not on the travel corridors list in the 14 days before your arrival.

      If you fall into this group and you arrived in England before 31 July you will not need to self-isolate if you are required to work within 14 days of your arrival. Read the rules about when you need to self-isolate and for how long.”

      • Harry T says:

        Worth checking the FCO page because I believe there are covid test requirements for entering Dubai.

    • Lady Londo says:

      If you travel to the UK when you have been in a country that the UK requires you to quarantine after visiting there, it would seem actually nuts for a healthcare professional to go back to work in healthcare where they can infect so many people, without uarantining themselves.

      Is this what the UK government is saying?

    • Bazza says:

      You should be following the advice of your NHS Trust – which is probably following advice from FCO.

  • Simon says:

    Cyprus- travelled this morning with BA- First Lounge at LHR far better than it used to be- you actually get served! Very strict with regards to checking that you have a “Cyprus Flight Pass” so boarding was very slow. Flight full. Met at the gate by a team of medics who again checked our COVID status from our NHS PCR tests. Currently sat in a brand new IHG hotel in Larnaca with no one else here! Another well deserved break for my ICU Consultant doctor partner.
    The message I’ve been giving to all our friends who ask “you’re going on holiday” is that as long as your sensible (I’m 49) and steer clear of busy bars I.e. use your common sense is that travelling is safe- and very different.
    As long as you weigh up all the risks and are comfortable with it it’s your choice!

    • Peter K says:

      With respect, travelling is safe, unless it’s very unsafe. Most people will not have the virus, but it only takes one in the row behind you on a flight to change that completely.

      Your last sentence about weighing up risks is very true. However, sometimes you do not know what your risk is. My MIL’s supermarket delivery driver’s 23yr old daughter ended up in intensive care with covid and due to (non-lung) complications now has permanent life changing issues.

      “Low risk” is not “no risk”.

      • Peter K says:

        I should say that the daughter had no known underlying health conditions.

        • Lady London says:

          You make a very valid point @Peter K. I feel so sorry for that poor 23 year old.

          Each of us is so dependent on others to do the right thing.

      • Erico1875 says:

        You will always get exceptions. You can not risk assess life for perfect survival. Its all just a numbers game. “Black Swan” events happen. Ie walk past building site and get brick on head.

        • Peter K says:

          Of course you are right. But you need to be careful about going around saying “be sensible and you’ll be safe” when it is not necessarily true.

          • Sam S says:

            Any idea what sort of issues she is left with? I had heard of potential lung damage but haven’t heard of damage to other organs so curious. I had glandular fever as a teen and developed something called POTS where every time I stood from a sitting position my heart rate shot up into the 130s and I felt lightheaded and burned up. Had it for several years before it went away. Not something you’d think could happen when you just have a sore throat but it is a known if very rare side effect so I’m curious as to covid’s potential side effects.

        • Lady London says:

          Whar’s more worrying @Enrico1875, is that the daughter may have caught if from their (possibly asymptomatic) parent who themselves were infected on one of their delivery rounds.

    • Doc says:

      How did you get the PCR testing for travel and how much did it cost you?

      • Lumma says:

        Cyprus accepts the free NHS tests

        • Doc says:

          You can only get a free NHS PCR test if you have symptoms of COVID-19. So how does one get a free PCR test on the NHS for travel?

          • Lady London says:

            obviously you should err on the side of caution and take up any test offer if you have the slightest symptoms that could be connected to Covid.

          • Lady London says:

            obviously you should err on the side of caution and take up any test offer if you have the slightest symptoms that could be connected to Covid.

  • Alex B says:

    What’s the best place to eat currently open in Heathrow T2?

    • John says:

      The pub next to the Lufthansa lounge is open and doing the half price thing on Mon-Wed

      Otherwise it’s Leon, also doing half price on takeaways. Pret and the others were all closed last week

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