This is Spain, where the British no longer need to quarantine when they arrive or when they return to the United Kingdom.
Changes have also been implemented at airports and flights, as well as new rules at hotels and on beaches.
While some may worry about the whole process as the pandemic continues, a jetsetter has spoken to the Liverpool Echo about what it really is like to go on vacation in today’s climate – and already wants to go back.
Nick Cox, a senior hardware and software developer from Liverpool, recently traveled to Spain from Manchester Airport with his girlfriend and two of their friends for a vacation.
The 29-year-old shared his experience of what it was like in Torrox, Spain, where he stayed for a week.
From airport restrictions to stricter rules on wearing masks, he learned.
At the airport and during the flight
Nick flew from Manchester Airport, which was also a completely different experience since there were no stores inside the airport at the time.
“I couldn’t even get a bottle of water,” said Nick.
“We were in Terminal 3, and there was a vending machine and a snack bar for the whole terminal, so the queue was quite large and there was not much left as we were on a night flight. ”
Regarding security, Nick said the airport was “obviously quite empty”, which meant that he and his three traveling companions could pass immediately.
“It was mandatory to wear a mask throughout the airport, which wasn’t really a problem and everyone was,” continued Nick.
“The outbound flight was OK, the plane was 95% full, so it was not very separate and there was no space between the seats.
“The pilot then announced that masks should be worn at all times, unless you eat and drink. We were then told that they would do a full cart service.
“But the problem is, as soon as the cart arrived and people took food and drinks, everyone had their masks removed – so what good are the masks, really?”
“Other than that, the flight went well. ”
Nick said his party was forced to fill out a Spanish visa form, which explained where they were staying during their trip.
“They were not interested in visa formalities and did not take our temperatures either,” he added.
Getting to your accommodation
In Nick’s experience, getting off the flight and entering passport control has seen social distancing.
He said, “There was no social distancing in the queue and as soon as we crossed we could leave the airport, so leaving the plane at the exit was about 10 minutes at total. ”
Nick and his friends rented a car to get around, especially since they lived with his friend’s mother in Spain, not in a hotel.
He continued: “We had rented a car, so we had to be picked up outside the airport in a shuttle directly to the car collection. We were told that masks should be worn on the shuttle, but it was only a few minutes later on the road. ”
Nick said that all staff at the rental location were wearing masks and that this was a requirement “everywhere”.
“You must have one on you when walking to and from the place, and you can remove it when you are not walking past people, but you must have it around your wrist if it is not on your face.
“The police are quite strict about this and can fine you on the spot.
Bars, restaurants and shops
Unlike in England, masks are compulsory at all times in shops and supermarkets.
Some streets have set up a one-way system, with painted arrows adorning the sidewalks for clarity.
The masks can be removed when tourists are inside bars or restaurants, but staff are required to wear their masks at all times.
Nick said his vacation destination was not particularly busy.
He added, “In terms of attendance, not really, there was more bar space – they need tourism, so they hope more people will come out and help the economy.
“The prices hadn’t gone up at all and it’s so cheap there for food and drinks.
But Nick warned that no social distancing was implemented in bars.
“We only saw a few places near the beach that had a queue for people to enter, but mainly a popular paella restaurant for locals.
“All bars have hand sanitizer everywhere and most places spray your hands when you enter, which is reassuring. “
Nick said that the beach chairs are covered with plastic wrap so that they can be cleaned after someone is done.
He said it was quite easy to book one because most of the locals don’t use them.
“I would say in terms of masks, that about 60% of people wear them at all times on the street and that some people wear them on the wrists or hang from the face otherwise,” continued Nick.
“Some people don’t wear them at all, but usually they do.
“My friend’s mom, who has a store there, says people look at you weirdly if they can’t see a mask, but in general most locals agree with that and the majority of people have it with them. “
Back in England
The return flight of Nick and his friends to England was not as busy as that to Spain.
They had a row of three for themselves and in some cases there may have been an entire row per person.
The flight was similar to their trip to Spain, where full tram service was offered and masks were required.
Again, people took off their masks when they ate and drank but as they had been pushed aside so far, Nick said it didn’t seem to be a problem.
Landing in England was “pretty bad”.
Nick said: “The Manchester airport on the way back was pretty bad and slow.
“We had to fill out an online visa form again to return, giving our address and contact details, but since there was only our landing flight at that time and it there were about 50 people on it, it took us another 20 minutes to pass passport control. . ”
Nick said the vacation was worth it, even with the security measures and modifications.
He said, “I’m glad I went there and had a good time. It was good to go out and get some good sun.
“We had more than 31, 32 degrees per day and a clear sky, so it was incredible.
“We had good meals and enjoyed cold beers in the sun.
“I would do it again if I could without any hesitation and I wish we had booked a longer stay.
“The only advice I would give is to take masks and have a backup one or two just in case – and make sure you have it with you at all times even if it’s just in your purse or your pocket or something.
“The police can be strict, so keep that in mind and as long as you follow their rules, they are very welcoming and love the money you spend.
“They also like the British because we drink and eat a lot more than the locals when we go out. “