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My Experience of Travelling to Rhodes with Jet2holidays during the Pandemic

By Jenny Schippers – 26th October 2020
RECOMMENDATION | Billy Bob’s Parlour & Diner – The Yorkshire Dales 145

Introduction

Everyone’s travel plans have been thrown up in the air this year. Like many, we have had countless holidays cancelled since March, and plans changed at the last minute. We did however manage to travel to Lindos in Rhodes for 8 nights in August with our two children (3 and 6 years old) and I hope by sharing our experience of holidaying during the pandemic that it may answer any questions if you are planning to do the same.

The decision to travel in the current climate is a very personal one, aside from the emotions involved, there are also the quarantine and testing protocols to consider as well as having key essential documents in place prior to booking.  Holiday insurance with full Covid cover, diligent checking of current FCDO advice, and in my opinion, a package, whereby you are fully protected by ATOL. You will also need to check entry requirements for the country you are travelling to, there may be a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) to complete as well as the UK re-entry form within 48 hours of flying home.

Flying Jet2holidays

Jet2holidays have been a shining star during the pandemic with their fantastic customer service and swift refund/amendment policy. We felt confident therefore booking a last-minute package with them and I have to say we were not disappointed. We flew from Terminal 1 at Manchester Airport and the ground staff were so helpful and efficient. Our PLF forms were screened at check-in and our boarding passes stamped accordingly. The staff member that assisted us mentioned that passengers are still completing the PLF forms incorrectly with mismatched passport details and failure to include children on the forms. Each airline has a slightly different policy on completing the PLF forms so do check specific requirements.

At the Airport

After we had checked in, we moved to the Security Hall. I have to say there was not a huge amount of social distancing in this area however, everyone was wearing masks and we attempted to keep as much of a distance from other people as possible. It did feel like the ‘pinch point’ in the overall airport experience and one that will hopefully be reviewed to include opening the second security hall at busier times. Once through to the departure gate it was easy to find a quiet spot and I was pleasantly surprised to see the small soft play area open with children’s TV programmes playing. My girls were happy to spend an hour or two here and because no one else was around, we felt able to lower our masks and have a bit of a breather before the flight. The food outlets and shops were all open, aside from the airport being noticeably quiet for the school summer holidays, it felt like a normal airport experience (aside from masks!).

On Board

The flight started boarding about an hour before departure and we were called by individual rows (no priority seating) which felt much more efficient. Jet2’s policy is that all children 6 years and older must wear a face mask (airlines vary on this policy) and my eldest was absolutely fine doing this. Our flight was full so there were no spare seats or rows. We were advised not to queue in the aisle for the toilet and to only get up when it was free, this worked quite well (there is always one!) and overall, everyone appeared compliant with mask-wearing. The cabin air felt cooler than normal which I presumed was to help in wearing a face-covering feel more comfortable.  There was a full drinks, hot food, and duty-free service during the flight.

On Arrival and In Resort

On landing in Rhodes, we completed passport control quickly, and then there was a line to check the PLF forms. We were not selected for testing at this point so went through to claim our bags. They had a full medical setup with spot testing taking place and it all looked very professional. I am not sure how many or who was selected for testing, but I calculated that off our flight approximately 10-15 people were taken into the medical area. We then boarded our transfer coach, again face masks were mandatory and there was plenty of space onboard. When we arrived at our apartments in Lindos, Lambis Studios, we were temperature checked and given a document to read regarding the safety procedure for reporting symptoms if we started to feel unwell. All the staff wore visors and kept their distance throughout the stay. We had a Jet2holidays representative who visited the accommodation daily as well as being provided with a local and 24hr emergency number whilst in the resort. Currently, Jet2holidays are not offering any excursions in Rhodes but it was easy to arrange our own day trips locally and we decided to hire a private driver for the day.

Covid Health & Safety

Points to consider when holidaying in Greece. The rules on wearing a face masks are the same as in England. Face masks must be worn on all public transport, including taxis as well as in shops, public areas of bars/restaurants until seated, and any other enclosed space. Out and about in the open air and at outside bars/restaurants you are not required to wear them however most staff members do. When we visited Lindos in August the resort was not that busy (although this may well have changed) and it was easy to socially distance in the apartments, around the pool, and at the beach. The narrow streets of Lindos do become busy in the evening and many chose to wear their masks when walking around. Hand gel points were found at the entrance to all restaurants and many shops. Cleaning procedures appeared to have been ramped up everywhere and it felt exceptionally clean and safe.

Finally, and most importantly, the Greek business owners that we encountered were so welcoming; they genuinely appeared to be grateful to have tourists back on the Island and we loved our time in beautiful Rhodes. Although there are of course added intricacies attached to travelling currently, we considered it worth it to enjoy such a fabulous family holiday.

RECOMMENDATION

This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review but paid in full by our writer and the venue had no idea that I was there. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!

RECOMMENDATION | Billy Bob’s Parlour & Diner – The Yorkshire Dales 155
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