Taking a flight these days is a testing experience, albeit it has just got a little less so. With effect from 4 o’clock this morning, fully vaccinated passengers from non-red list countries will no longer need to take a PCR or lateral-flow test three days before boarding a flight home to the UK. I came back from a holiday in France last month, so I had to take one, the negative result from which is shown on the home page. But no longer!
In other changes, the amber- and green-list countries have been merged, which is of absolutely no comfort if you’re travelling from a red-list country and you face having to pay in advance to stay for 10 nights in a government-approved hotel in order to comply with quarantine regulations. And even if you are flying in from a non-red country, stricter rules apply if you have not been double-jabbed. Further test relaxations are expected to be announced later this month.
Of course, the testing bit happens before you actually get on a plane. Once aboard, and depending on who you listen to, the impending airport arrival situation has either got very much more congested or very much less so since the onset of the pandemic. Having been aware while we were abroad about stories of terminal chaos at Heathrow, we were gratified to find that, on the Sunday morning we flew in, the place more resembled a ghost town than a terrible ghetto.
Not that getting out of Nice had been devoid of complications. The British Airways’ website and the information provided to us by them said we would be leaving from Terminal 2. The Nice Airport website advised the flight would go from Terminal 1. Who to believe? Well, the car hire drop-off at Nice is located at Terminal 2, the airport is not the world’s biggest in any case, and there is a tram which connects the two terminals. So we went to Terminal 2. Result? The flight was going from Terminal 1.
It didn’t matter too much in the end, in fact not at all, but it was not a good look from BA. Suppose their advice in respect of a Heathrow flight was that it would depart from Terminal 1 whereas in fact it would be flying from Terminal 5? Those two places are over three miles apart. And there is no connection by tram…