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Article posted on: September 17, 2020

Where did you go?

For me, July was a month of travelling, and I feel very lucky to have been able to go abroad given the circumstances at the time. 

In the first week of July I travelled to Malaga, Spain. I then went to Budapest, Hungary directly from Malaga and stayed there from 11th July to 3rd August. 

Did you have to fill in any special documentation prior to your flight to/from the UK?

Travelling from Malaga to Budapest was completely normal - no forms were required. I think this would have been the same if I had travelled from EMA.

On arrival back to the UK, I had to fill out a form called the Public Health Passenger Locator Form, which can be filled out online. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete but it can only be submitted 48 hours before arrival back in the UK.

What was it like at the airport? 

When travelling it was obligatory for me to wear the face mask, from the moment I arrived at East Midlands Airport until I left the arrival airport. This rule is not only for passengers - all the staff were wearing face masks as well (including ground workers and cabin crew). 

Social distancing was also in place at the airports and stickers on the floors helped to indicate the distance between passengers. 

Hand sanitisers were also available throughout (even more so in Hungary, than in England). These measures made you feel secure and safe throughout and wearing the face mask only bothered me in the first 30 minutes, and then I got used to it. 

Was check-in any different to normal?

Check-in was normal, the only difference was the distance between passengers when queuing.

Was the security screening any different to normal?

At the Hungarian airport everything was completely normal. 

The UK departure was also completely normal. The arrival back was also normal, the only difference was that when queuing at passport control, they checked if the Public Health Passenger Form was completed and, if it was, they let you through straight away.

What are the current regulations in Hungary?

During my time in Hungary, the only rule that was in place was to wear a face mask when entering in closed areas (such as supermarkets, public transport and shopping centres). 

Social distancing is advised, but there are no rules for this. In restaurants everything is normal and there aren't any special measures are in place.

Did you visit any cities/attractions while you were away?

The general atmosphere in Hungary was like Covid-19 had never happened (apart from wearing the face masks from time to time). People were kissing and hugging each other, and were generally very relaxed, as Hungary wasn’t as badly affected as other countries.  

I went to Lake Balaton with my family for one week, and it really felt just as it always does, with no real signs that the virus ever happened. 

 

What was the general atmosphere like in Hungary?

The atmosphere in Hungary is very optimistic, people are not really talking about the virus and are getting on with life as normal. 

Were the locals happy to see you and other tourists in the area?

I didn’t see many tourists and popular tourist destinations were really quiet, which was a good thing in my opinion. 

You could have a relaxing walk enjoying the views without the crowds that normally surround you. Locals were very welcoming and happy to see tourists. 

Was there any part of your trip that was actually made better by the current situation?

Yes, definitely. There were less tourists, there were no queues at museums, and entry was often free at popular tourist destinations (for example, to see the views from the Fisherman’s Bastion). 

I watched the sunset from the castle area in Budapest almost by myself, and it was amazing.

Final thoughts?  

Travelling is only a little bit different at the moment. And once you arrive it really is worth it to be there and enjoy yourself to the fullest and forget about all the uncertainties that have surrounded us in the past few months!

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