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The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 23rd June

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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.

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Comments (415)

  • Clive says:

    Some people earlier talking about Phuket. Yes testing is horrendous to be honest but should you decide to bite the bullet Marriott seems to have some good deals coming out

    https://www.nationthailand.com/business/40002376

  • Princess says:

    I would like to check something if any of you can confirm what I think. Looking at the government rules seem that if I fly to Dublin to then immediately to go to Northern Ireland I still need PCR test, is this correct
    ?

    • Niall says:

      Assume from an amber list country? Yeh

      • Princess says:

        no from the UK
        I find mix information and super clear looking at the UK gov website and the Irish website

    • Sukes says:

      Princess my read is you are correct, pre-departure PCR is required if entering Ireland from a part of the UK that is not NI. If however you were entering Ireland from NI you would be exempt from having to take this test (assuming you’ve not been overseas in the 14 days prior). Separately, NI gov advises that entrants from the Common Travel Area take lateral flow tests (these can be ordered free of charge in NI) but this is guidance only and unlike Ireland’s testing requirement is not set in law.

  • Mco says:

    A friend of mine is coming from a red list and been allocated a not so nice hotel near Gatwick. Anyway to change? His trips not for another week.

    Also are they allowed to go out for exercise? What’s the rules on that?

    • Rich says:

      I believe it’s non-negotiable, but it doesn’t hurt to ask (not sure who he’d ask).

      You’re supposed to be allowed out for supervised exercise – in the hotel car park probably, but by all accounts some hotels aren’t very good at arranging it.

    • MW says:

      I don’t understand why people comes from red-list countries without spending 2 weeks in an “acceptable” amber-list country?

      I am guessing limited travel options or pre-booked and non-changeable flights?

      If your friend changes the airport somehow to be LCY the options are better, apparently.

      • SteveJ says:

        Is there an easy resource that outlines other countries’ acceptance criteria?

        • MW says:

          Not that I know of – others may suggest better. Skyscanner has a map, but it’s not very accurate. Timatic is obviously the authoritative source. For quick reference, I usually use ExpertFlyer which has a simplified Timatic-driven feed.

          • Pete M says:

            I always check the official sources for the individual countries (their Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Health Ministry, tourism body, etc). I have found the “global” sources are often wrong, confusing, don’t tell you about imminent changes, etc (yes, including Timatic). But it’s always a good place to start: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php

        • Sukes says:

          For EU countries use the EU official app called Re-Open EU.

      • Nick says:

        @MW, because Amber then needs home isolation in the UK as well, so almost a month in total. Not everyone has that time to spare.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          3 weeks max at 21 days cutting it to 16 with TTR

          £1750 is probably a nice holiday in a 3rd country.

        • John says:

          But they have the money and over half the time??

  • Colin JE says:

    Have just received a request from Curve for more info about my business to continue with a ‘business Curve card’. Is there any advantage of a business version or shall I just switch to a personal card? Although I could send them the proofs they want, it’s a bit of a pain and I’m not sure if there’s any benefit to me. I have a Blue, free, card.

  • Rich says:

    Text message from ‘VMoney&CYB’ which I think is Virgin (bank? credit card? both? who knows!) saying their payments won’t go through from Fri night to Sat morning.

    • Luke says:

      Just received this also – maintenance.

    • The Urbanite says:

      They’re referring Virgin Money, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank current accounts collectively.

  • Luke says:

    Is there any downsides to Curve?
    I’m tired of having 2 credit and 2 debit cards in my wallet… I assume I can just get Curve and use this solely. Any issues with declined transactions?

    • BJ says:

      If only 🙂

    • DJ says:

      Just remember you don’t get S75 protection if you pay with Curve.

    • Travel Strong says:

      What you have in mind may be exactly how curve markets itself – but I don’t think you’ll find anyone on here that uses it like that!

      Reason 1) Curve doesn’t hold your Amex cards. 2) Curve may prevent card linked [email protected] offers you may have on your underlying card. 3) Risk of rejection/declines does exist, so having the original card at hand may be usefuk.

      To most on here, curve will be a tool with a few useful purposes – and all other cards are still at hand for use.

      One thing though – get those debit cards our of your wallet unless they have some outsized earning potential! My debit card hasn’t left the house in years.

      • Nick says:

        I rarely take a wallet any more, just my phone. Apple Pay is enough everywhere I shop.

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      Luke. Yes I use Curve like that as well as for other things. The only place I have ever experienced a card rejection is with pay at the pump petrol stations. You can add the Curve card to cashback apps like Airtime rewards and it works fine. I do use Natwest directly in Supermarkets though because it gets 1% cashback. Let’s face it how many times have you ever needed to use S75 protection on day to day impromptu purchases? If you’re planning to buy something big just take the credit card.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It doesn’t completely replace your actual card but it’s been a long time since I needed anything but curve on my Apple Pay.

  • Sukes says:

    For fellow NI residents- the text on NIDirect.gov has changed in recent days & now states the following regarding Covid vaccine certification:

    ‘In Northern Ireland, work has now started on a certificate production system, which will give you internationally accepted proof that you have had both vaccine doses.

    This will initially be a paper-based format and will be available here [NI] by early to mid-July.

    A digital certification process will be in place later in the summer, which will also include evidence of negative PCR COVID tests, as an alternative to vaccination.’

  • Travel Strong says:

    NHS App change: The seemingly arbitrary expiration date on vax certs has now changed to “2D barcode expiration date:” with the date 1 month from when you generate the pdf. Updated gov.uk guidance was issued today on the topic, and sure enough the certificate has changed.

    • MW says:

      It has been that way for at least a week, maybe two.

      As of a few days ago, the app also has an “event” barcode also!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        For the euro 2020 and other events prior to July 19th interesting it’s only valid in England.

    • Craig says:

      For anyone not double vaccinated and uploading lateral flow tests results that should also now be appearing in the app.

    • BJ says:

      Got a Scotland one a few weeks ago. I will need to have a look when I get home but I cannot recall any expiration dates. Just a single bar code IIRC. Country of issue is given as Scotland as opposed to GB; not happy about that, I see it causing a problem someplace sometime.

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