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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 25th September

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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 (426)

  • Niall says:

    I have been in the Dominican Republic for some time. I got excited that, as a vaccinated European who has been away from Europe for more than 14 days, I could travel to the US (or Puerto Rico). But it seems like there is still an issue… the US despite it’s recent announcement still doesn’t recognise the NHS covid vaccination certificate (even if it does now accept AZ as a WHO approved vaccination). Just checking with the wise and knowledgeable HFP community that my understanding is right here?

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      I’m not certain, but entry is easily possible once you have dealt with the 14 day out of the UK/EU thing so is it as simple as a negative PCR test required? I know several people who have been, travelling via mexico

      • Niall says:

        The issue is that if they don’t recognise the NHS vaccination certificate is that I have to do a test AND (most importantly) at least for Puerto Rico they want you to self isolate for 7 days. I want to visit for less than 7 days 🙁

        I guess there might be in reality no worries enforcement of the quarantine, but I guess entering for less than 7 days wouldn’t look good.

    • Blenz101 says:

      Vaccination is not a requirement to enter the US. You just can’t have been in UK/Europe/China/South Africa/Brazil/Iran in the previous 14 days.

      14 full days in the Dominican Republic will have seen you ‘cleaned’ and you can’t enter under whatever passport you hold / ESTA etc.

      • Niall says:

        Can’t or can?

        FCO entry requirements as well as Puerto Rico site mentions the 7 days self quarantine if unvaccinated. FCO states that the US does not yet accept NHS proof of quarantine. On that basis I would be classified as unvaccinated and required to self quarantine. As I said in the original post, there may be a reality that this is not enforced but I imagine entering for 3 days is clear enough that I wouldn’t possibly self quarantine as they wanted.

        • Blenz101 says:

          Sorry – you can enter. Quarantine is recommended by the CDC for unvaccinated but it is not mandated.

          You don’t need to worry about the NHS app, you just need proof of a vaccine approved by the WHO or FDA authorized.

          I’ve entered from Dubai without issue and was vaccinated in the UAE.

    • Lyn says:

      I don’t know about Puerto Rico, but as the other people who replied have noted, at the moment you don’t need to be vaccinated to enter the US as long as you have been out of the list of restricted countries, including the UK and EU, for more than 14 days. I also don’t know if the Dominican Republic is one of the list of restricted countries.

      You do need a test taken in the 3 days before you enter. It has to meet the US rules but does not necessarily have to be a PCR test.

      This will change sometime in November, and vaccines will be required but the list of restricted countries will be dropped.

      • Niall says:

        I am grateful for the the responses. However, I recognise that you do not need to be vaccinated to enter. Your vaccination status does crucially impact the requirement to self isolate.

        The Dominican Republic is not a restricted country.

        • Blenz101 says:

          You are vaccinated so as above you can follow those rules.

          The recommendation to quarantine does not apply.

          The USA don’t yet specify a specific app to prove vaccination status and their own system is flimsy paper cards.

          • Niall says:

            So, your thinking is that, while the FCO say the US don’t accept NHS cert as proof of vaccination, this is more because they haven’t said what they accept? And in any case you’ve called the quarantine a ‘recommendation’ as opposed to mandate?

      • Lyn says:

        If you click the link on the FCO web-site it gives details from the US side.

        They specify an FDA or WHO approved vaccine, which should cover European vaccines, and suggest testing within 3 to 5 days of arrival but not quarantine if vaccinated.

        • Niall says:

          The same link specified the U.K. NHS certificate is still not accept as proof of vaccination.

        • Niall says:

          Demonstrating your COVID-19 status
          The USA has not yet confirmed that it will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. You should follow the entry rules for unvaccinated people.

          • Blenz101 says:

            You don’t need to demonstrate your vaccination record to enter (currently) so it is rather a mute point if the US is going to recognise the NHS app or not as nobody is going to ask to see it.

            In November proof be required for non-citizens and what they will or won’t recognise will become an issue.

            The CDC recommends you isolate if not vaccinated (good practice) but you break no law if you do not.

            As always – make sure you have valid travel insurance if visiting the USA.

          • VickyTM says:

            I recently entered the USA after 15 days in Mexico. They checked my test result and my NHS vaccination certificate (Astra Zeneca), and were happy with both. At the bottom of this page it states who they consider as fully vaccinated.

          • David says:

            I think you mean ‘moot point”.

  • Craig says:

    Good evening from Tenerife, enjoying sundowners with the boss.

  • Gary says:

    Anyone been Tenerife recently and has an update re their Covid mask situation? Was there a period over summer Canaries was on high alert.

    Unrelated question- booking w BA and if requiring full refund within 24 hours can be done online? Or not anymore?

    • Memesweeper says:

      The 24h cancellation for free always required a call AFAIK. If you are struggling to get through and can evidence calls within 24h I’d expect you’d have the same experience as me, and you’ll still have a fully free cancellation option

      • Mr. AC says:

        Pre-COVID cancellation within 24 hours worked online, every time. Did it multiple times. No longer works, only phone.

    • Craig says:

      Tenerife at level 2, pretty straightforward if you are sitting in the sunshine having a scoop or two. If you want to go clubbing or on long bus rides then it’s more complicated. Basically wear a mask indoors if you aren’t eating or drinking or if you are in a crowded outdoor area.

      • Gary says:

        just saw your post immediately prior to mine now. Also looking at lanzarote which is level 1 I believe. U happen to know Much difference between 1 & 2 ?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          My understanding is it’s about what can and can’t open and the maximum capacity.

          Mask wearing unaffected. Outdoors in crowded areas and indoors unless eating/drinking.

  • Mark says:

    Question regarding the paper NHS covid pass. (Wife couldn’t get one via the app due to complications with GP, long story).
    We don’t have the actual copy here as we’re abroad. Have a picture of it but the PLF doesn’t recognise it. Can I still click vaccinated and then just show it if we get stopped at the UK border?

    • Blenz101 says:

      Yes, there is no requirement to have a smartphone / app to enter the UK. The PLF beyond matching your name and passport number is totally on trust anyway.

      If you didn’t want to be called by track and trace nothing stops you giving the wrong phone number for example.

      The fact you have a photo of your proof is more than many will have.

      • TJones says:

        It’s test and trace. Not track and trace. Track and trace is the Post Office.

        • Blenz101 says:

          Fair point but given they do no testing off the back of the PLF but just track people down my slip seems more accurate anyway.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I don’t think there’s any explicit requirement to prove you’ve been vaccinated at the border until October 4th.

  • Peter says:

    Found my first way for MM today 😀 Funnily enough I’m able to spend £100 on Amex and bring back £101 of cash, though it has some hefty daily limits and requires leaving home. Not for a big game, but great to hit the spend target though.

    • Mart says:

      Do tell!!

      • Peter says:

        I can point you at the very limited start point, my employers perks portal started accepting Amex. You buy X, then you buy Y, then you buy Z and you have cash 😀

  • BlueHorizonUK says:

    Does anyone have the WhatsApp number for Virgin Flying Club please?

    Thank You

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