Advice Please .........

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Advice Please .........

Post by hatusu »

Any advice anyone ? Im hoping to go back to the UK some time in the next few weeks, not because Im desperate to get away or feel in any danger, I just want to catch up with family and friends as I do every year and get away from the worst of the heat here. However it’s a long journey back and as I get older each year the travelling becomes more painful, as when I land at Heathrow after a 6 hr flight I have another 6 hrs travelling up to the north east coast. This will be even worse this year because I doubt the flight will be direct as originally booked, I expect we will have to go via Cairo so even longer between setting out from home here and arriving in the UK. I usually split my onward journey up and stay with friends in the Midlands for a couple of days before travelling on to my final destination but unable to do that this year because of Covid. I have no problem whatsoever with having to do 14 days quarantine, but would ideally like to spend one nt in an airport hotel before travelling on. Anyone any ideas if this would even be remotely possible?
Im sure there will be many other people arriving at airports late at night who cant immediately get to where they will spend the next 14 days in isolation, I cant be the only person with this problem.



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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by Alistair1967 »

Just some thoughts - even if the one night in a hotel (open/closed - not sure) didn't put you in breach of the quarantine rules, the onward travel might. Also, if you are travelling up to the north by train, bear in mind the advice for essential use only of public transport - key workers, etc. Service and capacity might be severely limited at present.

Catching up with family and friends - again, social contact will necessarily be limited even when the 14-day period ends, unless there is a further easing of the slightly vague rules in the meantime. Also, pubs, most shops, and other non-essential amenities remain closed at present. Most of us here are having to do without things that we normally take for granted.

My advice is do plenty of Googling, keep an eye on UK Government updates, and maybe consider postponing until things have returned to something like normal. Which could be a while yet, especially if the people suddenly thronging the beaches cause a second spike in infections.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by hatusu »

I was planning on getting a taxi - Ive had long distance ones before at very reasonable prices (Im happy to pay extra to be able to have door to door transport having previously suffered various problems at different times with public transport)
The 14 days quarantine will be no problem for me, and as Im planning to stay 3 or 4 mths I should hopefully by then be able to see loved ones (and Please God visit a hairdresser!!) Just worried about the initial travel problem on landing at Heathrow.
I really dont want to visit later in the year. The reason I came to live in Egypt in the first place is because cold wet weather exacerbates my back problems and is VERY painful for me.. If Im going at all it needs to be in the summer.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by crewmeal »

Sadly no airlines are flying between Egypt and the UK for the foreseeable future so you won’t be able to plan anything yet. Take one step at a time and look at the FCO Egypt website as they seem to be advertising odd flights back to Europe.

If I hear of anything remotely like travelling I’ll let you know.

The idea of the new quarantine rules is you must have an address to go to. As usual nothing is made clear on how to travel around the UK. I do know that LNER say you have to make a reservation before travelling on their routes.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by hatusu »

I had a flight booked back in January for 4 May so Egyptair will exchange this for new flight once they start again, so Im not going to pay an exorbitant amount to fly with any other airline. The embassy previously informed me several times of all the emergency flights that were going out as Im on their list, but its not an emergency. I dont HAVE to leave, I feel as safe here as anywhere. I DO have an address to go to, but that address is a long, long way from Heathrow airport. I cant be the only person in this situation with long journeys after arrival, but perhaps they do just expect us to get on with it.
Please understand Im not complaining (well not really ....) I know people have got far worse problems with the lockdown, but I just wondered if there was just a bit of leeway for travellers like me. (Or perhaps the govt just havent thought it through??)

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by Alistair1967 »

Hopefully this will provide some clarity on the (very new) quarantine rules : https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52774854.

Taxis of any kind, essential reasons only apparently - shopping, exercise, hospital etc, - which would not include your journey home unless it was absolutely essential. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/11339506/ ... -lockdown/

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by HEPZIBAH »

Hatusu, I understand your post is all about the practicalities of travelling back to the UK. Assuming you are able to get a flight during the period you require, my first thoughts are:

Quarantine on arrival in the UK has been announced but it's not quite as simple as staying isolated for 14 days.

-Getting a Taxi north. I have no idea about airpirt taxis, but many taxis are no longer running because oc lack of business and the cost implications of adapting their vehicles e.g with a perspex screen. Of course, black cab style should be OK, or possibly the people carrier type. Charges may have gone up because the car has the be disinfected between journeys. Many do not accept cash niw but use contactless payment, although booking ahead you could probably pay online.

-You must have an address to go to. As things stand at the moment, my understanding would be that you would need to be going to an empty property. At present, we are not allowed into the homes of family and friends, and can infact only meet one other person who is from outside of our residence group - still applying the 2m distancing rule.
You would need someone who could do essential shopping for you and be able to leave it at your door.

-Assuming you are clear of Covid symptoms at the end of the 14 days, you would be able to have more freedom of movement e.g for exercise purpose, but not for other social purposes. Meeting friends and family will still be very restricted.
If any of your friends or family are shielding you probable will not be able to see them at all, other than through a window. Others may be self isolating because although their health is not serious enough to essentially 'sheild', they do still hit a vulnerable category that makes it advisable to do all in their power to isolate from others. So meeting anyone in this category could be more difficult too.

- A question to ask yourself is 'Do I want to meet all my loved ones and friends, as single units, at a minimum distance of 2m, outside, not being able to hug and kiss them, not being able to have a private conversation because you are having to speak louder to cover the distance or because sound travels further outside?'

-If not registered with a GP, it could be more difficult if you needed a GP's help. Most consults are being done over the phone. Some have video consults I think. Only after phone triage would you get to see a GP if they considered it necessary to see you.

- Dentists have closed for all but emergency work. You may not see your normal dentist/surgery.

-Cafes/Restaurants/Bars...all usual places to meet friends...are closed other than for takeaway, and in many cases that is booked in advance
for delivery.

Those are just some of the things I can see, at this moment in time and given the present UK situation, that could really hamper and frustrate a visit to the UK at the moment or in the near future.
Last edited by HEPZIBAH on Sat May 23, 2020 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by A-Four »

Earlier this week I was at London Paddington Station, as I walked down the ramp to enter the main concourse, I was curiosity watched as I went by both station staff and quite a few British Transport Police. I ignored them, being that I know the place quite well, so made a direct march towards the far distant ticket office, which was closed, the time was about 11-30 in the morning. The automatic ticket machine would NOT offer me a ticket to Penzance, luckily for me I was only seeking the return price details. (£120 and that's the cheapest). Apparently, just checked and GWR's policy has now changed.

On Monday I am travelling through King's Cross, and I would assume you would do likewise to either Leeds or York, and then change on to the Trans-Pennine route, so will check what their policy is at this time. Anyone arriving at Heathow, should avoid the tube at all cost, buses through zone one are basically empty, and speed through the centre very quickly, the City is empty of people, as is the West End.

Although many may think it's a little crazy here, people are being told that repatriated Egyptians are all arriving at Cairo, not true, the ones who have little money are being landed at Marsa Alum, to the annoyance to the resorts owners, where they are housed in the empty hotel. I wonder if the Egyptian government will be paying the bill ?

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by hatusu »

Thank you Alastair for the links - clicking on the bbc one it confirmed I would be able to stay as I usually do at my sister's home ie -
"The Home Office said the proposed accommodation will need to meet necessary requirements, such as a hotel or a private address with friends or family. "
Regarding the travel - things are changing from day to day so by the time I do manage to get a flight everything could have changed.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by Alistair1967 »

I hope you can visit soon, and that life can start to return to normal. It will be a gradual process though, and any travel will need more careful planning than usual.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by hatusu »

Looking at all the advice Ive been given, and for which Im extremely grateful, but there doesn’t really seem to be any point in letting flights back into the country again as things stand. If Ive understood it all correctly incoming travellers are discouraged from using public transport because its needed for essential workers, ditto taxis. If they are going to allow flights back in, how exactly are travellers going to leave the airport? (Reminds me of that Tom Hanks film where he’s stuck in the airport - cant get into the country but cant leave it either………)

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by HEPZIBAH »

hatusu, I think there is supposed to me more information being given on the practicalities of it all during the coming week. That being said, all advice seems to change almost daily and it is hard often hard to know, even if you've read it for yourself, what is fact and which is open to interpretation.

As usual, we have been given a piece of information without all the background and back up. It's rather like being given the picture of a tasty looking dish in a glossy magazine. You search for the recipe, understanding it many well be complex, but all you are given is the cooking time...but even that will vary depending on whether you cook on gas or electric - but don't use a microwave because that doesn't speed things up, it just ruins it completely.
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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by A-Four »

As I wrote above, I was at London Paddington Station, I used the train service from there to Heathrow, to avoid using London Underground. Only around three or four people were on the train. From my home to Paddington I caught the 205 bus from Aldgate, that service would normally take over one hour, I was at my destination in less than half that time.

Taking a mini-cab car from Heathrow to Hull would be around £120, or Newcastle about £150.

Anyone travelling through London in the foreseeable future, should avoid London Underground at all cost.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by newcastle »

A-Four wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:35 pm


Taking a mini-cab car from Heathrow to Hull would be around £120, or Newcastle about £150.
Yeah right...... :))) :)))

Trotters Taxis of Peckham presumably.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by crewmeal »

Just in from the FCO
Air Cairo is operating flights from Cairo to Paris and Cairo to Frankfurt on Tuesday, 26 May. Bookings can be made on the Air Cairo website: www.flyaircairo.com. Options for onward travel to the UK might be limited. Make sure you have arrangements in place before booking and check FCO travel advice for Germany and France.

Lufthansa flights
Lufthansa is operating flights from Cairo to Frankfurt on Friday 29 May, Monday 1 June and Wednesday 3 June. Bookings can be made by calling the Lufthansa Sales Office in Egypt on 02 258 03500 from 8:30am to 3:00pm, Sunday to Thursday. Passengers will be required to wear face masks onboard.

These flights may fill up at short notice; we will endeavor to keep this page updated with the latest information.

Options for onward travel to the UK might be limited. Make sure you have arrangements in place before booking and check FCO travel advice for Germany.

You will need to pay for your return travel to the UK. If departure options are available but you cannot afford the travel costs and have exhausted all other options for getting funds, you may be eligible to apply for an emergency loan from the government. This is a last resort option and you would need to repay the loan when you are back in the UK. For more information, you should contact Corporate Travel Management (CTM). CTM are a commercial partner of the FCO and are authorised to administer such loans on behalf of the FCO.

Your journey home
The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) provides advice on how to stay safe as you travel by air.

When you arrive back in the UK, follow the guidance for when you return to the UK on steps you should take to protect yourself and others.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by HEPZIBAH »

newcastle wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 6:30 pm
A-Four wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 4:35 pm


Taking a mini-cab car from Heathrow to Hull would be around £120, or Newcastle about £150.
Yeah right...... :))) :)))

Trotters Taxis of Peckham presumably.
That was somewhat my reaction too.

I think A-Four is being somewhat optimistic in his taxi prices. I would be interested to know the contact details for any companies that can do the routes quoted at such prices.

As coincidence would have it, I actually checked taxi prices for LHR to Hull Marina earlier in the year. Quotes that I got were upwards of £250 for a normal sized car.
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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by hatusu »

Id be expecting to pay just under £300. A couple of years ago I did the trip the other way round and paid £250 inc tip.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by newcastle »

hatusu wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 7:46 pm
Id be expecting to pay just under £300. A couple of years ago I did the trip the other way round and paid £250 inc tip.
£300 to Newcastle is about as cheap as it comes.

Perhaps A-Four was giving a bring-your-own petrol rate :lol:

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by A-Four »

I really can understand why so many people give this forum a very wide berth.

In the past, as now if i have to take a long journeys from Heathrow, when such cases occur, quite often, I take a pre arranged car, known as a mini-cab to my destination, usually pre-arranged at my local destination long before my arrival at Heathrow, thus like anywhere in the world the cost is vastly cheaper than simply getting a taxi off a rank at Heathrow, and watching the guy smile as though I'm a total idiot.

As a rule, unlike others who try to help, and cannot be bothered with the usual abuse that is so common on this forum these days, I do try to help, but then again, I often wonder,.....why bother, especially when others think they know better, when in fact, they have no idea of the real world,....even in the present climate.
Last edited by A-Four on Sat May 23, 2020 11:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Advice Please .........

Post by A-Four »

hatusu wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 7:46 pm
Id be expecting to pay just under £300. A couple of years ago I did the trip the other way round and paid £250 inc tip.
So you paid a man to drive you this distance tax free to travel five hours for £250,......and yet you are still asking for advise on this forum,........oh really.

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