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Passenger travel to and from France/ Spain


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Nodwad, As it is a rolling 90 days in 180 using the Schengen Calculator  makes it easier to work out whether your future travel plans are within the rules.  You can input several holiday periods to check that all is well and tweak the travel dates a bit if you have to.

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A cheap trip, I don't think so.  

Mme BZH tripped , fell and broke her wrist.

Healthcare in Brittany has been superb. Seen within 5 minutes of arriving at Casualty. Kept in overnight.

Operation the following day. Overnight stay for observation. Home visits from nurse to change bandages etc.

We had booked to return to Uk on Bretagne, now switched to a Caen crossing.   Surgeon wants to see her again in May.

Can't stay because we will exceed the Schengen 90 day rule.

Ok, we are booked to come back for the hospital appointment. Travelling in style with Commodore cabins both ways is costing £476.50

but the Covid tests for our six day return trip are an additional £800 !    Ouch !

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5 minutes ago, BZH29 said:

but the Covid tests for our six day return trip are an additional £800 !    Ouch !

I understand that if you were to do a test on day 1 at 9am and the result arrived at 9pm the same day then you could get the ferry at 11pm. You'd arrive in the UK on day 2 in the morning and could still come back into France anytime up to 9am on day 4. The limit is 72 hours from the time of the test. Whether that works in practice I'm not sure and the Schengen rules might make that impractical but it would be cheaper for sure as a test in France is free.

Ed

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19 minutes ago, BZH29 said:

Can't stay because we will exceed the Schengen 90 day rule.

When did you start your French trip ?

If before the new year then I don't believe that the 90 day rule applies (however should be checked)

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and look what happened to the infection rate in the Autumn

Now reported to have been approx 50% due to returning holidaymakers bringing back infections and variants as I suggested at the time, but some on here disagreed.

TBH, at the moment I just can't see foreign travel restrictions from the UK being lifted on 17th May. No difficulty with people travelling abroad. the problem is that most of them will want to come back again! This current lockdown has been very hard, we really don't want another one so if we have to play in the UK for most of this year then that looks  like the price we will have to pay. There are, after all, lots of fantastic places to visit within our borders as well as Barnard Castle! You can even do P&O around the British Isles too.

The key to opening up travel will be completing the vaccination programme (EU permitting), not being knocked off course by variants the vaccines can't protect against plus our European friends getting their own infection levels under control and the scenes at the Paris railway stations just before their lockdown with thousands of peope mingling and spreading out into the countryside taking their infections with them sent a chill down my spine. I gather the roads were pretty busy too.

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Hopefully the strategy from the UK will be clearer next month and we should be getting more information from other Countries.

It will be wait and see, however I imagine that even if travel is allowed it will include testing and quarantine.

 

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Judging by what is being discussed & reported in our media, I think we're being conditioned for bad news concerning the 17th May. I also have a feeling the when the foreign travel ban is initially lifted it will be restricted to particular corridors again and those who have had both vax jabs.

Portugal is looking good and came off the U.K. red list on Friday, problem is, we can't get a ferry there. Spain isn't too bad, they had nearly 800,000 active cases at the beginning of February, it's now down to less than 195,000 but that'll change now that Germany has lifted restrictions and there will be a huge influx of flights to the Balearics over Easter.

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28 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

I remember thinking this time last year that there would still be a pretty good chance of our Greece break in early June going ahead...☹️

Think positive, be optimistic if we can't go what have we lost.

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A clue might have come from the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, being interviewed on Marr this morning. He suggested that it was possible (likely you may think) that some sort of travel restriction will be placed to and from France. He mentioned there specifically. I wouldn`t be suprised.

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I'm now somewhat resigned to staying in the UK this summer, Yorkshire Dales is close by and stunning in summer. But one country I am keeping an eye on is the USA. Their cases are falling, although still higher than here, and their vaccination program is going well. Much of the country has had lockdown restrictions lifted, California which had a huge amount of cases has now allowed restaurants and bars to open. 

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4 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Yes but only 4,200 cases were actually imported. So my suspicion is therefore correct. What does that represent as a proportion of the total number of returning holiday-makers? And as those aged 16-20 were most responsible for the influx then they should not be allowed to travel this year, unless vaccinated, as it's clear they can't be trusted. That would still allow families with young children to take holidays as well as second home owners to visit their properties.

Ed

I think the best way to look it is that only one covid case has the ability to multiply the number of infections. In late February the Isle of Man was fine with no lockdown and social distancing needed as the island borders were effectively shut. Covid levels in an island of 85,000 people were in single digits, with all cases in from people returning back home to the island. All were in self isolation so no risk of community seeding of covid. One covid case was then imported into the island accidentally by a Steam Packet employee and it spread within the community. Now they have a full lockdown and 860 cases! It just shows how contagious Covid is.

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19 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Agreed, this is all about Brittany Ferries and travel to our close neighbours.

Fully Agree!

So away from Politics... Where does BF go from here? As it looks increasing likely that a return to France (at least, not sure what teh siatuation is in Spain) in the short- medium term is unlikely? I know they said they was positive, but two years of extreme down turn in passengers?

Two years now of no NEx service, St Malo...

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14 hours ago, Paully said:

A clue might have come from the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, being interviewed on Marr this morning. He suggested that it was possible (likely you may think) that some sort of travel restriction will be placed to and from France. He mentioned there specifically. I wouldn`t be surprised.

That's fair enough, but you wouldnt expect him to say 'oh May 17th is the day - book your ferries and flights now and we will let you go.' That would be ridiculous. drip feeding positive news is dangerous and so my feeling is they will keep saying no travel until they suddenly announce we are good to go. They are still trying to enforce the rules until that date, if they announce that is final then by beginning of may people will be watering down the rules and doing what they like.

With the ongoing positive news on Vax, I would be interested to see a graph of age ranges of who is getting positive tests now compared to a month ago. My guess is that deaths will continue to fall, but with schools going back more younger people will be positive and that clearly puts less strain on the NHS. So although cases may level off, it's entirely likely those cases will be made up of much younger people.

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46 minutes ago, muppetdodger said:

That's fair enough, but you wouldnt expect him to say 'oh May 17th is the day - book your ferries and flights now and we will let you go.' That would be ridiculous. drip feeding positive news is dangerous and so my feeling is they will keep saying no travel until they suddenly announce we are good to go.

What I was doing was quoting what a Government Minister was saying thats all. It sounded to me as though he was hinting that France , on their own, might have special measures or restrictions imposed on them. Its a destination that affects most on here.

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Getting back to the topic of ferries and passenger travel, if we have a scenario in the summer where holiday travel to France is still forbidden for us but Spain is allowed, is it likely that BF could run extra ferries to and from Spain to meet demand?  I imagine it would be difficult at short notice but perhaps there is contingency planning in place.

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Two weeks ago, we had pretty much decided to book our August trip to the mainland - the question was whether it was to be France / Benelux area or further afield.  We were reassured by the promise of a full refund from P&O - none of this voucher nonsense.

Now, we've pretty much decided to book some UK campsites before everywhere is full - which means we'll end up stuck behind those under-powered motorhomes on some A or B road somewhere. I'm still hopeful (see below) that we might get overseas and we may book to safeguard against price rises.

Looking at the shape of the infection rates and deaths, it's hard to know what to think - France seems to have been experiencing a prolonged but medium level of the virus, compared to the UK and it's frightening second peak in January. 

Here, the pattern generally seems to be that a peak occurs about a month after you put severe restrictions in place. Another month on and things are much, much better. My understanding is that France has had fairly severe measures in place for a while so maybe their peaks will be lower but more prolonged than the UK's. The UK certainly did everything it could to maximise deaths in January by getting everyone to mix at Christmas and having the kids back at school to aid the spread.  If there is a significant peak in France say in mid-April, it could well be a distant memory by later June.

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4 minutes ago, Angel said:

Getting back to the topic of ferries and passenger travel, if we have a scenario in the summer where holiday travel to France is still forbidden for us but Spain is allowed, is it likely that BF could run extra ferries to and from Spain to meet demand?  I imagine it would be difficult at short notice but perhaps there is contingency planning in place.

I'm sure that's technically possible. They will however want some sort of guarantee that the goalposts aren't going to be moved mid-season. Once they have the crews set up and the money in the bank it will be very costly to cancel everything.

Ed

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If BF cannot be sure of decent passenger loadings through the summer onwards then I suspect some hard decisions will need to be made.

Laying up ships costs money, and the longer they are idle the more they deteriorate, just think of those vacuum operated toilets in all the cabins for example. If they are unused then the system and seals dry out and it costs a fortune to repair them.

I wonder if BF will simply decide to downsize their operation until better times arrive and discard their older vessels, Bretagne, Normandie, Barfleur and Normandie Express. (as the cruise companies have done). If the remainder of the leet are then profitable it will provide a basis for future expansion.

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1 hour ago, VikingVoyager said:

stuck behind those under-powered motorhomes on some A or B road somewhere.

Me... under powered? Not likely, I drive to the speed limits ( maybe a tad over) in the MoHo thank you. It's the drivers who are under powered not the vans. They do my head in just as much.

Thing is, the U.K. campsites won't be opening their facilities blocks until after May 17th anyway so motorhomer's and caravanners will have free reign for more than a month from April 12th.

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22 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

I wonder if BF will simply decide to downsize their operation

The trouble is that this is not the time to sell ships. The Consultants said that we would all flock back in 2022 and that is probably true. 

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5 minutes ago, jonno said:

Me... under powered? Not likely, I drive to the speed limits ( maybe a tad over) in the MoHo thank you. It's the drivers who are under powered not the vans. They do my head in just as much.

Thing is, the U.K. campsites won't be opening their facilities blocks until after May 17th anyway so motorhomer's and caravanners will have free reign for more than a month from April 12th.

Lol. Some conversions do look like they are asking a lot from the base vehicle.

Seems like no one is quite certain about the facilities thing yet? I know a lot of tenters are buying porta-loos though. Doesn't bother us though, we are self contained. Last summer we ended up on 5 pitch sites only (which are the best anyway), some off-grid. But even that was quite tricky to book and no replacement for 30 degrees and a nice pool...

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