My recent travel experience.

Caroline Treleaven on 05 September 2021

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My husband and I have recently returned from a trip to Portugal. Here are the steps we took to ensure a hassle-free exit from, and re-entry to, the UK. Note that there may be alternative rules for different destinations. 2 weeks before departure - we ordered an antigen test that we took with us to qualify for re-entry to the UK and we booked pre-departure test at our local airport 48 hours before departure. We also ordered our Day 2 test for when we arrived back into the UK. 48 hours before departure - we took an antigen test at Southampton Airport and got the certificate 15 minutes later. We filled in the Portuguese Passenger Locator Form and uploaded both forms to the airline which meant that we could then check-in for our flight. 48 hours before returning to UK - we took an antigen test (the one we had taken with us from the UK) and photographed the result and our passport page which we then uploaded to their site. We got the certificate in 4 hours so filled in UK (PLF) Passenger Locator Form and uploaded both to the airline so that we could check in. No later than 48 hours after returning to UK - we took our Day 2 test and dropped the swab in a sealed package in to a designated collection point, which in our case was a local pharmacy. 24 hours later we got the all-clear email. Important points: * all countries are different and rules do change frequently. * start preparing 2 weeks before. It is worth noting that you will need to take with you the reference number of your Day 2 test as it is required when you fill in the PLF before arriving back in the UK. * print everything as it is so much easier than flicking through your phone with a queue of people breathing down your neck! * queueing at London Heathrow to go through the eGates at passport control was no worse than any summer holiday arrivals. Please do talk to me, an independent travel agent for help and advice. You can call me on 01722 567540, or email me at caroline.treleaven@travelcounsellors.com. Not only will I recommend the best options for your trip, but I will also happily help you through the bureaucracy above. Don't be dissuaded by the perceived hassle. It really is not that bad, and I am always here to help with any business or leisure trips you are planning.

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