Travel in a Covid world (July 2021)

After around a year and a half of being trapped within our own countries, restrictions are finally easing and people are starting to travel again. What I have noticed very early on, is that the UK Government’s website instructions can be a little bewildering, and I’ve also had to answer calls from my friends abroad who want to know how to get home!

Here is my step-by-step guide to how I traveled to Spain and back for a weekend without any issues (21-23rd July 2021):

1/ Check what “light” your destination is. At the time of writing, Spain was on the “amber” list, so if you are vaccinated (like I am), you would not need to quarantine when you returned to England. If you aren’t vaccinated you would need to stay home for 10 days, with Covid tests on day 2 and day 10. Currently there is only one “green” country (Greece) so amber will apply for many places we all want to fly to.

2/ Go to the Spanish Health website and click on the Individual FCS Form where you need to fill out the relevant passport and travel details. You can also download the Spanish Health app from here, BUT I could not get the app to recognise my vaccine certificate no matter what I tried. I found the solution in filling out the form and then being sent a QR code via email. I printed out the QR code and had no need for the app at all during my trip.

2a/ If vaccinated download the NHS app and your vaccine pass will appear on there. Regardless of if you have the pass or not, the NHS app itself is a very useful tool for maintaining appointments and ordering prescriptions.

3/ Book your flights. Usually the trip to Valencia in Spain costs over £200. I paid £99 this time with easyjet. Take advantage before the prices increase if you can. I don’t know if it’s related to cheap flights or not, but parking was also about a 1/3 of what I usually paid for a weekend’s stay.

4/ At the airport (Gatwick) it was the usual procedure of check-in and security. Once at the gate for my flight I then had to produce my Spanish QR code and show them proof of my vaccines on the NHS app. If you are not vaccinated I think you must show them a negative PCR test here but I am not 100% sure.

{Nb: Trips that last less than 3 days (my own trip for example) you could have the PCR test done on the day you fly out and it will cover the whole 3 days of your journey, No need for another PCR test before you return home.}

5/ Fly to Spain. When you land, right after passport control you will need to show your Spanish QR code and your NHS Covid pass again. You will also have your temperature checked.

6/ Catch up with old friends and make new friends (Amo Paraguay!). Ride the mopeds via an app for around €1 a trip. Sit at a table with 3 Italians and get drilled about the football incessantly. Smash a grand getting white girl wasted.

7/ Crawl your arse back to the airport.

8/ Go through the airport security as usual, but this time, BEFORE checking in, you MUST have a negative PCR test. In Valencia airport you can book a test on this site. The cost is around €95 and I had the results within 45 minutes. Negative, thankfully. Only then was I allowed to check in.

9/ Board your flight and slip into a 2 hour coma.

I hope this answers some or all of your queries, but if you have any more questions, drop a comment below and I’ll try to answer them. Also, if you have anything to add or think I have missed something, I will gladly update this blog for all to read. Just remember that this blog is for trips to Spain in our current climate, so I cannot state that it fits all other countries and their requirements.

I hope you all have safe and uneventful travels until you reach your destination.

And then I hope you blow the doors off.