😷 COVID - Traveling during Covid-19

Especially since I’m in a virus free country wanting to fly into a country in the midst of a mild outbreak.

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I have always assumed that you were a Passport Carrying Kiwi - is that not the case?

Not even passports get you in these days. You have to first go into a lottery for an MIQ space. You got about a one in a thousand chance on any given day.

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Ah, sorry, I didnt realise that the NZ Government has yet to re-open the “Green Line” from Australia.

Air NZ just cancelled all of its trans Tasman flights up to Xmas. Hundreds of flights down the drain.

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I hadn’t been taking much notice, but now I see why - new cases of around 200 a day. Toilet Paper is no doubt in short supply in Government offices.

:de:

Key Information for Travelers to Germany

  • Avoid travel to Germany

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/covid-4/coronavirus-germany

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Guess I’m reading too much of the peak woke thread cause the way that sentence started got me headed in a totally different direction…

Feb 14, borders open to Kiwiland. Perfeck timing. Get the CNY bonus and run. Maybe via Koh Samui.

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The old country is also put on that level 4 basket. Has been for months. Flights are full of US anti vaxxers - no vaccine/PCR requirements- and new routes open up every week.

They actually opened direct UK flights again. At very competitive prices BTW so expect a very good British tourist season.

Has anyone traveled out of Taiwan from Taoyuan airport in the past week or two?

Just wondered what the situation is like at the airport? Are there a lot of lengthy check-in procedures or is it still fairly quick?

I’ve got a trip coming up and am trying to get an idea of how long before the flight I should be getting to the airport. The flight itself is really empty (seems to be less than 20 people on the whole flight), so there’s unlikely to be a long check-in for it.

From some recent Youtuber videos, the airport terminal halls appear quiet and empty, which might imply there is no need to turn up very early. But maybe that’s being too optimistic!?

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I flew to the US on November 4th and Taoyuan airport was practically empty. I had already checked in online (United has an app where you submit photos of your passport, PCR test, etc.) and it took only five minutes to get through security and egate. I kid you not. There was a total of one security line open with just two passengers in front of me. That, combined with everyone having their own row on the flight, was like a dream come true.

The doubled price of airfare + cost of the quarantine hotel woke me up from that dream quickly.

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Was anything actually open? Even pre-COVID that airport was already a pretty dire place to wait around for an hour or two.

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I was at terminal 2 around 8:00AM and I expected to find breakfast easily at the food court upstairs. Wrong! Only 2 places were open including Starbucks, thank goodness, because me in the morning without coffee is not a pretty sight. The sign at the McDonald’s there said they didn’t even open until like 11 AM so I guess that shows how dead the airport has been.

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I guess I’m now at 2.5 years since I was in the airport - good to know there’s a new food court in one of the terminals. If I recall correctly, the existence of a Starbucks and a McDonald’s is at least a sign the (very low!) bar for the departures area has risen.

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How do you book a Covid quarantine hotel before you travel? Thinking of visiting home during CNY and worried the hotels will fill up. Also, are they free now or do you still need to pay?

Maybe have a look at this thread:

The next thread is a little old now, but does include this link for a Taipei City Quarantine Hotel FAQ.

These two threads have tons about experiences with quarantine hotels, with bits and pieces about booking them:

Sharing my experience with travelling back to Taiwan from the UK yesterday.

  • I had booked flights with British Airways and Cathay Pacific (London Heathrow - Hong Kong - Taipei)
  • Prepared all the required paperwork:
    1 - ARC
    2 - PCR test results, taken a day before (I used RANDOX as a provider in the UK, their same-day service, Waterloo Station clinic - I paid £60 and got the result within 3 hours)
    3 - Quarantine hotel booking confirmation
    4 - Print-out of the Taiwan Quarantine System Entry
  • Went to the airport 5 hours before the flight as I was quite paranoid about cancellations, issues with paperwork, etc.
  • Good that I did. Exactly as I got at the airport, they announced that BA flight to Hong Kong had been cancelled. BA suspended all their flights to Hong Kong, due to a number of their crew being forced into quarantine camps in Hong Kong, following some close contacts with a Covid case.
  • I rushed into the BA Service Desk and requested them to find me a same-day alternative, as changing the quarantine hotel booking would have been a nightmare
  • I was lucky enough to get a same-day booking with Turkish Airlines, via Istanbul
  • I rushed into a different terminal because the flight was a bit earlier. At the check-in desk they reviewed my documents very thoroughly but overall everything was smooth.
  • Flight to Istanbul uneventful. Full service, most people were maskless, as they were consuming drinks, etc., masks were not strongly enforced.
  • Flight from Istanbul to Taipei delayed from 2AM to 5AM. Wait at the airport was looong and tiring. When the boarding finally started, they checked my ARC and PCR test certificates again at the gate.
  • Flight itself was uneventful.
  • I was impressed with how well everything was organised at the Taoyuan Airport.
    1 - First check-point was the queue to buy SIM cards.
    2 - I already had a SIM card so I was then asked to open the text message that I had received as I landed in Taipei. The text message contained a link to an online portal, where I had to log in using a part of my passport number.
    3 - The portal contained information that I had filled into the Quarantine System Entry form. I was instructed to take screen captures of the content.
    4 - At the next checkpoint I had to present my passport, and I was given a from for the PCR test that I had to take later
    5 - Next was Immigration check, all as per usual (passport + ARC)
    5 - Next was luggage collection and customs, all as per usual
    6 - After the customs at the arrivals hall there was a corridor for the PCR test. I was given a Rapid Test to be used after the Self Management period that follows the Quarantine. I was also given the sample collection items required for my arrival PCR test
    7 - Next, I was directed to the testing booths (outside). They use saliva based PCR test.
    8 - After providing my sample, I was directed to the taxi queue
    9 - At the taxi booking desk, they used the same bar code that I had received before (from the portal that I received a link to via a text message as I landed), to determine where I was going.
    10 - The staff filled in a form for the taxi driver, then they disinfected me and my bags, and I was shown to the taxi. Taxi to Taipei is flat 1,000 NTD. The drivers require cash (I used an ATM at the terminal, before the luggage collection, to get some cash)
    11 - When I arrived to my quarantine hotel, they disinfected my bags again, and showed me to my room. They communicated via Line to get a copy of my passport + screen captures of my Quarantine Entry System forms.

The flight cancellation itself was by far the most stressful aspect of the journey. In Taiwan everything felt very well organised, and actually much easier than I had anticipated. There was plenty of English speaking staff available who made sure nobody got lost or confused.

Now I just need to survive two weeks at the quarantine hotel.

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Did you find anywhere to eat/drink at the airport? I also went to that Starbucks when I flew out in October, but I got “yelled” at for trying to drink my coffee by the gate (several feet away from other people). I ended up saving my coffee and breakfast for the plane, which was sort of annoying since that meant I had to stare at it for an hour…

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We were on the same flight :rofl: And I confirm that the organisation at the airport is great, even better than last year. I received the SMS immediately after landing and I was already on a taxi less than 30 minutes later.

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