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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 8th May

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

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 at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (212)

  • bafan says:

    Any reason why BA hasn’t added more flights to Madeira? Local government limiting arrivals? FAO on June 5th has 8 (I think) arrivals on BA alone…

    • BJ says:

      Possibly the number of pilots is limiting. I believe it is one of those difficult airports where pilots are required to undergo additional training. Due to gusting crosswinds.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      bafan Not wishing to scare, but Maderia is one of the airports that you hold your breath as you approach and hope your pilot isn’t new lol

      • Andrew says:

        It’s a Captain Only airport – so your pilot won’t be new.

    • Oli says:

      A few years ago we got stuck in Madeira for an extra 2 days because they closed the airport due to strong winds.

  • Marko polo says:

    All vulnerable vaccinated.
    Death rate nearly at zero.
    Vaccine manufacturers say vaccine works on variants anyway so variants aren’t a concern.
    Yet we still have this stupid traffic light system and are held hostage in the UK.
    All THE VUNRABLE ARE VACCINATED!
    Best of it is, nobody seems that bothered anymore, we’ve become accustomed to getting our freedom taken away.

    • KP says:

      Held hostage? Oh boy maybe you should get an Australian citizenship… !

    • DarrenS says:

      Held hostage! You know that some people are actually kept as hostages?

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      I was tempted to be somewhat hostile in my reply, as there’s so much stupid in the above. But, I won’t. You are free to go to any country you wish. Completely free. However, you are not free to just casually waltz back into the UK with gay abandon. Whilst the death rate is astoundingly low, and that the vulnerable are indeed vaccinated, people still become ill with COVID-19. People still end up in hospital. People still end up ill long after their infection. THIS is why we have the regulations that we do.

      • Gavin says:

        Even when everyone is vaccinated, and booster shots are given out in addition, people will still become ill, end up in hospital and die with COVID-19. The restrictions are to prevent the NHS becoming overwhelmed, not stop people from becoming ill and dying. Once the NHS is in no danger of being overwhelmed (which should be soon!) then restrictions should be removed.

        • Sam says:

          Thank you Matron and Gavin. Well said

        • Anuj says:

          Don’t forget there’s also still the risk of someone bringing back a variant. Many countries are currently having lots of new infections and it’s a risky time.

          • Track says:

            On the same note, that’s how viral evolution works. Someone WILL bring a variant, and a variant with the highest propensity to infect (attach to cells) will become noticeable or dominant, regardless of travel policies, rules, quarantines and vaccinations.

            It might have less mortality due to its changed properties (minor) or vaccination.

      • Marco polo says:

        Let’s stop doing anything that could make people ill then?
        Close everything down.
        Forever, end of story.

      • Yuff says:

        Why would you need to be hostile, they are entitled to their opinion and it is a particularly valid opinion in my view. More people are dying of flu and pneumonia in the UK currently and they don’t have restrictions.
        I don’t have a problem with going slow but the government should do what they said which was they will be driven by data not dates and I’m sure they anticipated delaying opening up the Uk if the data was poor however the data has been way better than expected, due to vaccines, but they are sticking to their dates…….
        Reports in the telegraph today suggest boosters for variants won’t even be needed as the current vaccines work so well………….

        • Tim says:

          Bang on, Yuff.

        • Lou says:

          The government also said that the dates were the earliest possible, irrespective of what else happened. The only direction the dates could go were later on, and never earlier. Funny how selective some people’s memories are…

    • Navara says:

      Marko
      From the 17th May you can leave. If you feel you are a hostage don’t come back you still have the choice, some don’t

      • Marko polo says:

        What a strange thing to say just because I have a different opinion than you?
        Full on fascism.. Lovely stuff.

        • AJA says:

          Marko all of the stats you quote are for the UK and it is fantastic that we appear to have Covid under control. Trouble is other countries are not in the same position so the government is protecting the UK from people bringing Covid back to the UK.

          You are not being prevented from leaving the UK but you are still required to take the Covid tests to prove that you are not infectious.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            “Bringing Covid back”

            Covid hasn’t left it’s still here … and it will be here forever more

        • BrightonReader says:

          Godwin’s Rule before noon?

          Must be some sort of record for invoking it so early in the day.

          People can disagree but there is no need to be disagreeable about it.

        • Navara says:

          “Marco Polo remained abroad for 24 years“

    • kitten says:

      Marko I fully understand your frustration but we are, by far, not safe yet. This disease has several features that make it more dangerous to people than flu. We don’t even know how long the vaccines protect.

      For once the government seems to be using a bit of caution they should for now. Some other countries are opening too soon and will probably going to be back in another wave heading into the winter. But at least hotels will have made money from tourists before the winter.

    • Ali M says:

      I think everyone is being careful.once the govt has legit data from slowly easing restrictions that death / hospital admission rate amongst vaccinated and vulnerable remains close to zero , we won’t have any restrictions. why would they jeopardise the economy

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      By no means are all vulnerable people vaccinated, the amount of missing conditions like ME that affect your immune system and blind / visually impaired people are still waiting by age.

      I’d suggest you widen you’re horizons and step down from your aggressive stance that you’re being held hostage

  • Mark says:

    Booked Conrad Algarve and Intercontinental Cascais-Estoril for 8 nights in total and 2 BA return Biz tickets to Lisbon this morning.
    Conrad Algarve looks really nice, just hoping Portugal stays green for the summer.

    • Genghis says:

      Thanks for the update

    • Harry T says:

      Let us know how Conrad Algarve is, I’ve had my eye on that one for a while. Hope your holiday can go ahead.

      • Mark says:

        No problem Harry, it’s been one of them I’ve had my eye on too but always seemed a touch expensive.
        The Hilton devaluation this month pushed me into it, I might as well use some points if everything is going to become more and more expensive.

  • Frankie says:

    Grant S said yesterday that tests would be cheaper but all the pre book testing packages on the government website are about £200. Are they expected to reduce in price before 17th May? Also can anyone recommend one please? There are so many companies listed I’ve no idea which one to choose.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/providers-of-day-2-and-day-8-coronavirus-testing-for-international-arrivals

    • Jonny O says:

      Read the list again. There is one provider as low as £105 for an arrivals testing package. It is a very long list so don’t just glance at the first screen. SCROLL down. Of course, there is no certainty about the quality of service you will get for that price but some of the higher price providers have also reportedly been providing poor service too.

      • The Streets says:

        From my experience, just go with the cheapest you find and if the PCR tests arrive in time then use them. With the cheapest providers there’s a high chance of delays because everyone is going to them and they cant keep up with demand. But you should find that the Day 2 test will arrive in time for Day 8.

        You are then encouraged by the person that calls you everyday to do a chargeback if the tests are delayed

        • s879 says:

          What is the cheapest option for Test to Release package? The government website doesn’t state the cost unlike for the Day 2 and Day 8 option. As I understand it, the Day 2 and Day 8 tests still need to be done and the Day 5 is an additional one! Can all three be booked by one company as a package and if yes, could someone please advise re cheapest option. I will also need a test before I travel back to England so that’s 4 tests!

        • NC says:

          Sorry I’m not sure I follow this. Are you saying a chargeback should be possible if a Day2/8 test result isn’t delivered within the promised timeframe?

          • meta says:

            Absolutely. You haven’t been provided service as agreed and this is time sensitive, i.e. for example you need to go to work so you’re losing your salary or need to use more holidays…

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    VA CC monthly points: has anyone’s points not swept over to their VA account this month?
    Mine usually around the 4th each month, nothing this month so far?

  • YC says:

    Currently have a cancelled BA SEZ return booked in the 50% last year. Is it fine to keep it in cancelled mode beyond departure date? Optimistically hoping flights get put back in later in the year or re-routing at a more suitable time

    • John Gallagher says:

      Yes it is
      I’m currently sitting on a cancelled SIN which was 01/05 returning 10/05

  • CGB says:

    I completely understand it’s not a priority, but just wondering what happened to the Ozwald Boateng new BA uniforms?

  • Tts says:

    Has anyone seen anything about under 18s and green list travel? I guess they are saying all kids need the tests as well? There goes £700!!!

    • MadeUpName says:

      From what I understand of the gov.uk website under 11s don’t need to do the pre-departure test and under 5s don’t need to do the day 2 after arrival test. It’s on the pages below (a little hard to find though!)

      https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control/before-you-leave-for-the-uk

      https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Under 11’s are exempt. Over that yes you need to test.

    • MadeUpName says:

      From what I understand of the gov.uk website under 11s don’t need to do the pre-departure test and under 5s don’t need to do the day 2 after arrival test. It’s on the pages below (a little hard to find though!)

      Links should post once my comments is moderated.

      • kitten says:

        Do children not transmit infection then?

        • Rob says:

          Not really, no, which is why the schools reopening has caused no spike.

          • Lady London says:

            Interesting.
            Keeping schools open was what seemed to have kept cases at a high plateau continuing in France. Practically everything else shut down and a curfew throughout.

            They took the decision to keep kids educated…. and their parents working (at home, if they could). I think it was actually the right decision.

            I’m actually concerned to relieve hospitals so that those needing treatment for other serious conditions can get a slot.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          kitten As Rob says Children can’t catch it, or transmit it ?
          Or was it Boris ? I seem to remember it being said
          Send Children to School its perfectly safe
          That was just before Schools shut down lol

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Have to weigh up the risk vs the discomfort/hassle of testing kids.

          Can they catch it..yes
          Can they transmit it..yes
          Do they get severe disease..highly unlikely

          Kids going to School might not cause a significant spike in itself but there’s a lot of movement that goes with it parents dropping them off, using public transport etc which would have done when there were high levels of virus in the community.

          It’s like the chances of outdoor transmission is very low but there’s lots of movement and activity involved around it which may be risky like using public transport, hospitality workers still working inside, deliveries etc etc

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