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Miscellaneous Use this area ONLY if you can't find a suitable home for your topic. We'll create a new area if necessary and reserve the right to move topics to more suitable areas. Only post regarding the Pollensa area. This is not a forum for general discussion.

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  #1  
Old 03-04-2021, 18:27
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Talking Escape from Schengen

WE visited PP in January 2020 for our usual winter visit and returned home to Newcastl UK well before the start of the Covid Pandemic.

Like lots of people we had several visits cancelled by EJet, Jet2 and Ryanair with the usual difficulties of getting refunds!

We took the chance of a travel window in the UK lockdown rules and changed a Ryanair flight to September for our usual Autumn visit, intending to stay about 5 weeks. As we approached our home date, our flight was moved to an unacceptable date so we rejected it, intending to find another later in the year.

After several bookings being cancelled before Christmas we decided to stay. We usually visit in January anyway!!

We absolutely loved the port with the quietness and the locals reclaiming their town and beaches, but were very sad and aware of the difficulties the bars, restaurants and those on benefits were going through. We supported where we could!

The weeks turned into months... We considered becoming residents, but we were not ready for, or did not want that step.

2021 came and we started our 90 days allowed under Schengen rules.

Several flights were booked and cancelled as lockdowns took its toll.

We wanted to fly direct to UK if we could as did not want the complication of going to the mainland or other Schengen State on the way and have us stranded if connecting flights were cancelled or that we were caught in a lockdown, or catch the dreaded virus in places with a high incidence of CV.

When the UK introduced the 10 days isolation for those returning, we looked at going home via a stay in the Canaries for two weeks, to get around it. Those options soon disappeared. Don't get me wrong I would have waited out the Pandemic in PP if we could have!

The need to have negative pre-flight covid tests within 72 hours of arriving in UK, and the need to complete Passenger Locator forms with evidence of prepaid covid tests for day2 and 8 of isolation complicated the planning.

After 3 cancelled flights in as many days we finally decided that via Madrid was the only option.

Our BA flights from PMI to LHR to Newcastle in one day became, after 2 cancellations, from PMI to Madrid to LHR to Newcastle in two days.
We had to isolate in a hotel for the stopover at LHR.

Covid planning started on the Thursday, 48 hours before our trip.
We went to Muro Hospital. No appointment needed, we got there at 9am for the clinic at 9:30. The queue was out the door already! We paid our 115euros each (I see its now 90) and waited to be called, nasal swab over in seconds. WE would be sent the results via email by the next day. Made it back to PP by 10:30.

We had trouble on the Friday with the PCR Test results as we couldn't unzip the attachments, no matter what unzip app I tried!! So back to Muro. I managed to bypass the long queue out of the door and down the road!! and convinced someone to help me. They took me to the Lab!! Where a technician printed them out for me, I just hoped that they satisfied the criteria!!

I was then on the net via my phone most of the day from trying to fill in the Passenger Locator Forms (PLF), and trying to purchase our day 2 and day 8 tests from the Gov approved list. The sites were busy and I was getting timed out, very frustrating.
Finally got there with the first site recommended by Gov called 001Doctor.uk. initially they were sold out but by the time I had unsuccessfully searched other sites they came up available and they were cheap £170 each where some were £240! After several attempts Finally got ref numbers to put on our Gov Passenger Location forms.

The trip was fairly uneventful, the Boarding staff checked our Covid results and PLF forms on our phones etc and we made it to Madrid, T4. Our Passports stamped at border!! on way to T4S

I was told at Palma that I wouldn't have to show Covid results or PLF again because now on system! Oh yes we did, Madrid said that Palma had not stamped my onward ticket!!
Anyway, made it to LHR T5, made it through border control but only after showing Covid Test papers, PLF form and email receipts on phone to them.

Not been to Heathrow before so unsure of how to get to the hotel.
Made it out of airport, looked for bus stop to hotel, no timetable, freezing, we headed for taxis, several refused our fare, as not lucrative enough!! One offered but for an inflated fixed price!! Is this legal I thought!! Any way we got to Hotel, lovely room, had nice supper with a pint of lager in our rooms (we collected from the lobby). Phew, slept well but up at 6:30 Remembered the clocks went forward!!
Bus to LHR T5 the next day and safely on to Newcastle.

Now, isolating at home and subject to two PCR Tests, day 2 and day 8 of isolation. We are still Waiting for day 2 test result! That's a story in itself with the test provider and Royal Mail delivering our tests late and to the wrong address!! I was on the phone for hours, to Test supplier, Royal Mail, NHS119 etc now waiting for Day8 test to arrive!!

Today we have been told to isolate by NHS Track and Trace as we must have been sitting on the plane with someone who ha come down with Covid!!

Fortunately the isolation coincides with the isolation we are already forced to do. I get a call every day to check we are self isolating and told of the consequences of not obeying the order! I'm surprised they didn't tag us!
Today we've had another call from test and trace because of this contact!! That's 2 a day!!

Will be glad when this is all over!!

Although we would have chosen to stay in Mallorca till end of June if we could have, we are happy to have managed to finally get home.

I am not keen to go back until the testing requirements are ended. I just don't know how the Test Labs and Borders will cope if testing is not ended for the busy season.

I am pleased ee made it home last Sunday. We had to be out of EU by the 31st as that was 90 days limit (In a moving 180 day period) else face penalties, including possibly being deported, fined and stopped from returning for a period. Recent articles in Spanish press suggested the are taking no prisoners!! With all the "illegals" on the mainland going into hiding!!!

Sorry its long winded ..

Take Care, Stay Safe out there... Mr & Mrs El Gordo
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Last edited by El Gordo; 04-04-2021 at 11:23.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2021, 18:40
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Just - WOW!!
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Old 03-04-2021, 18:57
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Another wow from me.

Pleased you made it home, and hope you can now relax. It all sounded quite stressful (especially once you were into the 90 days countdown)
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Old 03-04-2021, 19:54
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Travel is certainly a challenge right now! Well done on coping with all.
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Old 03-04-2021, 22:04
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You did well and got through the stages with perseverance. Food for thought.

Just waiting on our second jab not due until 24-31 May. Hoping we can fly in June and August/September - who knows what will be in place by then.
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Old 03-04-2021, 22:30
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Scary bedtime reading!!! Glad you are home safe and really hope you feel confident enough to return soon....... how else will we keep up with the live music scene in PP
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Last edited by Teflon; 03-04-2021 at 22:40.
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2021, 08:35
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Who needs the Mallorca files with that lot going on.
Oh for the day's when going on holiday was a pleasure unlike now when it's more akin to endurance to see if they can finally break you.
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Old 04-04-2021, 16:50
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Let’s all hope it becomes easier than that. It’s one thing to go through all that after an extended stay in PP, quite another after a week’s break!

I have a feeling this Forum will become very, very useful following developments through personal experiences. Thank you so much for this informative post, El Gordo.
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Last edited by Disorderly; 04-04-2021 at 17:01.
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Old 05-04-2021, 13:51
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I'm glad you made it home, I wouldn't have had the patience for all that , I'm sure I'd be in a straight jacket by now !
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Old 05-04-2021, 17:57
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I went to Muro Hospital in Alcudia today for PCR test to travel to UK and was in line outside for 5 hours the test itself takes. seconds . I arrived at 9.15 ready for them starting at 9.30 and finally got away at 2.15 pm . when I arrived there was only 50 people in front of me almost all German ready to return after Easter. I should get my results by email tomorrow .
Cannot begin to imagine how this will be when the island actually opens up to all tourists.the cost now is 90 euro. but have had to book in accordance with UK rules 3 covid tests on arrival these must be booked and paid for in advance and a unique reference given to you by the clinic has to be entered on your QR health form and submitted to UK gvt before flying. the tests are day 2 day 5 and day 8 at a cost of £150 per test and then of course my test required to return here with fit to fly certificate 72 hours before returning a further £150 so all the testing round trip works out around £680 add this to the waiting time in line for testing . Something is going to need to change because this is not sustainable for Tourists
Of course its important we all stay safe and keep others safe but clearly some people are making shed loads of money out of this and the Govt should step in and cap the cost of tests . as the Spanish Govt did with the price of face masks

Last edited by fil6699; 05-04-2021 at 18:25.
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Old 05-04-2021, 18:43
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This all sounds very complicated, expensive and stressful and only to be considered if really necessary I just cannot imagine trying to go through this in the height of the season - not that we will be doing so as have cancelled our June trip already - losing our accommodation deposit. ( this for health reasons).
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Old 05-04-2021, 19:08
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Originally Posted by Rosie34 View Post
This all sounds very complicated, expensive and stressful and only to be considered if really necessary I just cannot imagine trying to go through this in the height of the season - not that we will be doing so as have cancelled our June trip already - losing our accommodation deposit. ( this for health reasons).
Exactly why I posted this so that people can see the actual situation . as I said the Government need to cap the cost of testing I understand the need for them but as it is now it is not workable
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Old 05-04-2021, 20:32
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Certainly wont be worth coming if all this will have to be gone through It isnt the cost just the mechanics of it all

We went to Lanzarote for Christmas and had to have PCR tests before we went at a cost of £120 each The main worry is if it gets back in time which luckily ours did and to come back we only had to fill in forms and Quarantine for 10 days but no tests All that was doable but dont think many people would want to go further than that for a few weeks holiday
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Old 05-04-2021, 21:24
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Originally Posted by fil6699 View Post
Exactly why I posted this so that people can see the actual situation . as I said the Government need to cap the cost of testing I understand the need for them but as it is now it is not workable
Thanks Fil for all the info. I'm crossing fingers that the UK and Mallorca can come to some agreement re COVID Passport if you have 2 Jabs etc, for us as Rosie also says, the process is very involved and dependant on timely results. I agree I don't know how the testing process will cope when a season of visitors takes off.
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Old 06-04-2021, 17:44
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Thanks Fil for all the info. I'm crossing fingers that the UK and Mallorca can come to some agreement re COVID Passport if you have 2 Jabs etc, for us as Rosie also says, the process is very involved and dependant on timely results. I agree I don't know how the testing process will cope when a season of visitors takes off.
Surely, the Balearic government, the airlines and the airport authority all have such a massive vested interest in promoting tourism from the U.K. that you would hope they would be collectively working on a testing infrastructure? Iím hoping that as soon as our government makes its mind up finally on when we can travel, and what the testing requirements are, then the Balearics can get a grip on this. I certainly hope so.
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