We had to travel to Spain for business and to check on our 2nd home recently. This is briefly is our experience.
Airport – UK
Setting out for Spain we decided to allow a little more time than usual to get through check in and security at Gatwick. We had completed the extra forms for travelling to Spain and the Easyjet staff were on hand to check these when were at the bag drop stage. The airport itself was very quiet for early June.
Airport – Spain
Arriving at Alicante airport we passed through the automatic passport readers and then waited for the border control staff to check and date stamp the passport as well.
Out and About
The standard Covid protocols regarding washing hands, using hand sanitizers, social distancing and wearing masks in shops all applied and now seems like second nature and the norm. Walking outside in Spain we were also required to wear a mask, however the good news from 26th June 2021 in the Alicante/Valencia region this is no longer required. From personal experience this was the most difficult restriction, particularly, in hot temperatures and if climbing up steep inclines or steps. So this felt a relief and it was quite liberating to walk in the sunshine without a mask.
Most of bars and restaurants are open and appreciate and welcome the business, visitors and residents alike. Although we travelled in Summer early June and stayed for 3 weeks, it felt more like early Spring with the amount of people in the area. The plus side of things was the beaches were less crowded. Water sports were available on some beaches, with life guards in evidence on the main beaches on Orihuela Costa in Alicante Province.
We took a coach trip as theses trips are now being offered and the programme of events are opening up now for the summer. Our trip took us to the old of Caravaca a holy town (the town of the Cross), followed by Calasparra with the River Segura flowing by and the stunning Sanctuary OUR LADY OF HOPE to see.
Our journey home
It was necessary to take a antigen test to return home to the UK. After speaking to our neighbours we had 2 venues to choose from and more may come on stream in the future. We choose IMED based in Torrevieja and decided to pre book appointments on line. The service was efficient and our results arrived with 30 mins. We took the opportunity to walk into town and visit the marina and take some lunch. We then took a slow stroll along the coast for 1.5 hour walk back to Orihuela Costa stopping off for liquid refreshment at the Nautilus at Punta Prima on way home.
The 2 day and 8 day tests required were booked on line choosing from a list of providers on the government website http://www.gov.uk – Spain. We completed the Passenger Locator Form as required to get back into the UK. We needed our flight and passport details to complete this as well as the reference for the 2 and 8 day tests.
Upon returning to the UK we passed through the automatic passport control gates and onto baggage reclaim. The data required is held on the passenger locator form and avoids any further checks, it seems.
Our 2nd and 8th day tests had been delivered when we arrived home. We received the result of our 2nd day test by email 2 days after we posted it. We are due to take our 8th day test now and have both received calls each from NHS track and trace to check.we are doing them.
It was a trip with lots of forms and tests. However, it was worth the extra effort.