Addy's blog: Leaving on a jet plane (don’t know when I’ll be back again!)

A Citymother's Diary

clock Released On 4th Jul 2021

Addy's blog: Leaving on a jet plane (don’t know when I’ll be back again!)

I write this blog coming to you live from the sunny hot beaches of Alicante in Spain. After much heated debate in our household my husband and I decided we would be brave and make our annual trip to my Dad's house in Spain.

I’m a risk/project manager by profession so for this trip its been a long process of defining the RAID log (risks, issues, assumptions and dependencies) and then either mitigating the risks or fixing the issues.

Risks:

  • Obviously catching Covid - hubby and I are both double vaccinated for over a month now.
  • Travel insurance not covering Covid or Amber locations – extra policy coverage in place.

Issues:

  • Wearing a mask all the way through the airport and the plane (5 hours +) – purchased comfortable masks that don’t sweat.
  • Multiple Covid tests required to return, isolate and reduce isolation* – 48 hours pre departure, day 2 & 8 and day 5 TTR (test to release) all booked and paid for. Over £600 extra for the trip.

Due to the flights being cancelled and rebooked so many times departure is now 7am requiring getting up at 3am – pack and load the car the night before and set several alarms.

Minimal food facilities are open at airports (check in advance of any travel) – due to Masters' multiple life threatening food allergies we always take our own “plane picnic".

Due to rebooking flights its use them or lose them. No resolution.

Keeping the kids entertained if we have to self-isolate in Spain – fibre to the house has just been installed (500MB!) meaning downloading Netflix/Disney+ now not an issue.

BBC iPlayer/ ITV unavailable in Spain (which we realised 10 minutes before the quarter final) – emergency Zoom to my sister who set up a laptop in front of her TV for us to watch the game!

Assumptions:

  • We have our own space in Spain and will be outside much more than a UK holiday – making it less likely to catch anything.
  • Eating out is all outside – see above

Dependencies:

  • Our PCR tests 48 hours before we return come back negative – we have brought our work laptops with us just in case we get stuck. (However due to Brexit our respective firms may not allow us to WFH in Spain!)
  • We all pass all our Covid tests so Miss, aged 4, can have her tonsils out when back – using mandatory isolation to isolate longer than required for hospital operation. (I also need an extra test as I’ll be staying with her in hospital, meaning I’ll be taking 5 Covid tests in 10 days!)

* Required a PHD in reading government Web pages to decipher who needed what tests. Master, age 6, doesn’t need a PCR to return home but does need day 2,5 & 8 tests.

Authors personal note:

The flight was fine and quite empty, and seeing Gatwick so desolate was a stark reminder how much the travel industry has been affected by the pandemic. Spain seems very safe and people wear masks everywhere. In fact, before this week it was illegal to leave your house without wearing one. Now its just required inside.

We all desperately needed a break, at least away from our house, and we really thought hard about travelling abroad. I think if we weren’t vaccinated and knew we had our own house in Spain we probably wouldn’t have come abroad at all.

RAID Summary:

On balance, whilst there are risks involved in flying abroad, these have been mitigated as much as possible. As the world starts to open up people will need to make their own decisions about whether to go abroad or not.

Addy works in Risk & Compliance in the city, has a 6-year-old trainee F1 driver, a 4-year-old aspiring space doctor, a lovely hands on husband and two mad rescue cats.

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