A couple of days ago, the UK announced that travelers who have been fully vaccinated will no longer have to take pre-departure tests and will not be subject to post-arrival testing either and this has already kick-started a small but significant resurgence in travel bookings which is welcome news to the beleaguered industry. Now it’s time for the news to get even better and for more countries to follow suit.
Right now, I'm back home in LA and in the middle of a tier point run that I didn't really want to do, but it's only thanks to a stroke of good fortune that I actually got home on my planned date. Thanks to a rather incredible screw-up by American Airlines, my whole trip was nearly cancelled before I had a chance to board a single flight.
Back in March, the news that the vaccine rollouts were gathering pace led to a moment of over-optimism on my part that resulted in me booking a multi-segment tier point run to get me back to LA for the upcoming holidays. The booking seemed like a good idea at the time, but with events unfolding as they have, the tier point run turned into a trip that I really didn't want to take.
The United Kingdom was just one of the many nations that moved to ban travel from Southern Africa when the Omicron variant first came to light and it took a lot of criticism for doing so. Yesterday, those travel bans were lifted, and despite being a staunch critic of the UK administration I have to admit that on this occasion, they got things right.
The UK government recently tightened up the testing requirements that travelers visiting England are expected to adhere to before and after their inbound flights, and a close look at the new rules suggests that anyone who has recently recovered from Covid could face issues.
As has been rumored for a few days, the United States government has today announced a number of measures that it says are aimed at protecting Americans from the Delta and Omicron Covid variants this winter. Among the proposals are a tightening up of the testing requirements for all travelers entering the United States from abroad.
We've seen a lot of complaints, anger, and outrage (faux and otherwise) coming from various quarters following the recent decision taken by a significant number of nations to ban travel from southern Africa, but a lot of it seems to be coming from people missing a few key points about how the world works and what the bans are actually about.
Since the very beginning of this mess, I've been a supporter of most of the measures that we've seen put in place to try to keep people safe and to keep the death rates as low as possible and I, like most people, have done my bit to adhere to whatever rules have been set down. What I've never supported, however, is the belief that the US government's approach to the pandemic has always been based on science. It hasn't.
I've been flying in and out of England reasonably frequently in the past 12 months so I have first-hand experience of how painful the cost of all the Covid tests needed to get into the country has sometimes felt. Now, however, things are a lot better, and with fully vaccinated travelers now only required to take a 'Day 2' test upon arrival, I thought that I'd take a quick look at two UK testing providers with whom I've had good experiences.
In what can only be described as a pathetic nickel & dime move, Heathrow Airport has finally started to charge the £5/$6.85 drop-off fee that it has been threatening to introduce for well over a year. This post takes a look at who has to pay the fee, how the fee can be paid, and how travelers arriving at Heathrow by car can avoid paying the fee.