Travelling by plane during the Covid 19 pandemic: a nightmare or a complicated experience?

Image by Bilal EL-Daou from Pixabay

Covid-19 has completely changed one’s experience of travelling abroad by plane.

Although many countries have already gone through the most challenging times and are gradually rebuilding the economy, the effects of the pandemic will continue to reflect in daily activities for a long time. Masks and hand sanitisers, queues and social distancing reflexes are still present in our life.

Ireland is no exception to the countries resurrecting economics and social life after the COVID. Some restrictions have been lifted in May, and more are expected in the summer months due to the plan outlined by the Irish government (with safety measures still in place).

Leaving lockdown procedures also reached travel restrictions for international and domestic trips.

After more than one year of lockdown and the beginning of vaccination, Ireland slowly reopens its borders to travellers. Although urgent trips were still in place for people in need of international flights, the Irish government still placed severe restrictions on travelling abroad. One of the measures to lessen the flow of people across the border was the implementation of mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers from designated states. The requirement to undergo an almost €2000 quarantine stopped people from travelling more than any fine.

ON May, 8, 12 and 28, most countries from the mandatory hotel quarantine list were removed. Now, passengers with a negative PCR who will go into self-isolation after the arrival are allowed to quarantine at home.

Today, any Irish traveller abroad or back can have a simple but easy algorithm for his/her flight.

When travelling, one can easily book flights on sources, such as TripAdvisor or websites of the flight companies.

If taking a Covid test is required, one can book it at the GP or private testing company. However, most airports provide the facility of having the test on the spot. Dublin airport, for example, has two private companies, RocDoc Health Check and Randox, inside the territory, which provide RT-PCR COVID-19 testing and rapid/antigen testing. 

Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

The booking for the test there is easy and do not require queuing up if one has an appointment. 

However, the correct type of test must be taken according to the destination country’s government requirements. The traveller has to fill in all the necessary supplementary documentation before the trip. 

When arriving at the airport before the flight, one must follow social distancing and have personal protection measures. However, passengers can buy masks from the machines, and hand sanitisers are present almost everywhere in the airport. The new mask should be used every 3 hours.

On arrival, one has to show a hard copy of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the trip and quarantine for the 14 days with the uploading of the Covid tracking program. The law also requires you to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form. All other requirements, including the mandatory hotel quarantine designated states, can be found on the governmental website.

If the person is afraid of the trip or wants to see other’s travelling during the pandemic, the YouTube reports and Instagram stories are a good source of information.

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