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Trunks and Tests - Holidays in 2021
Covid Holidays Trunk

For those who’ve made the decision to head to Portugal today, I imagine it’s been a stressful few days like it has for us.

Gone are the days of chucking some trunks and a small sun cream into a bag with your passport to jet off to the south of Europe. Travel now involves a huge amount of planning. Not just the beaches you want to visit, but your Covid tests to get in and out of the country you’re visiting, as well as all the local Covid protocols and then those in the UK when we get back.
To get into Portugal today we did a PCR test on Friday. It wasn’t that easy to sort and cost £129 for a courier to drop off, wait for us to test and then take away.
A negative result (which I got) is needed for entry to Portugal. Once I got the result, I had to log into to our airline website and log the certificate. This was complicated.
Issues with the testing site meant I couldn’t get the certificate to download. After a whole load of faff, it worked. Then you need to fill in a Portugal Passenger Locator form with all your details of your stay in Portugal and your UK home details.

Covid Courier Test

You need to download this and add to the site too. You’re also advised to print all these certificates for border inspection. I don’t have a printer at home – and I don’t go to the office, so this involved sorting that as well.

You also need to take an antigen test which you need to buy, take with you and use as a pre-departure test for when we’re leaving Portugal. This £40 test has to be done in front of a clinician before flying back to the UK.
I’m doing a video call with a clinic in the UK 24 hours before I travel back so they can see me do it and the result. When I get back to the UK, I must do a PCR test within two days of my arrival and this has to be organised in advance of departure. This was another £99.
Choosing to travel in these circumstances takes real commitment and perseverance. One other passenger mentioned to us she felt like a guinea pig with all the tests. As summer progresses, industry and government want prices to come down to make it easier for passengers.

Simon Browning - BBC Business Reporter