Author Topic: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread  (Read 99062 times)

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Offline Count Walewski

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3075: November 18, 2021, 10:23:16 AM »
What airline?

And for very similar reasons, we are doing the same this week...it'll be 4 flight segments to get there but the idea of being on an island with low dumbassery is very appealing right now. 

For Malta? We are flying Swiss International there and Austrian back. My understanding is that both of those airlines are now owned by Lufthansa. Changing planes in Zurich and Austria.

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3076: November 18, 2021, 12:01:50 PM »
For Malta? We are flying Swiss International there and Austrian back. My understanding is that both of those airlines are now owned by Lufthansa.[...].

They are (as is Brussels Airlines).

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3077: November 18, 2021, 05:08:15 PM »
Word of advice: Malta isn't playing when it comes to Covid.  Check the requirements daily and get the VeriFly and EU Digital Passenger Locator Forms done before the last minute (take it from one who barely managed to make it into the country today).  The upside is that life here feels almost normal once you get past all of that, and it's nice to be free of Freedumb.   

Online Natsinpwc

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3078: November 18, 2021, 05:28:02 PM »
Word of advice: Malta isn't playing when it comes to Covid.  Check the requirements daily and get the VeriFly and EU Digital Passenger Locator Forms done before the last minute (take it from one who barely managed to make it into the country today).  The upside is that life here feels almost normal once you get past all of that, and it's nice to be free of Freedumb.
You can run but you can’t hide! 

https://newsbook.com.mt/en/green-list-no-more-malta-orange-listed-as-covid-19-cases-increase/

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3079: November 19, 2021, 10:41:40 AM »
Malta is indeed seeing a COVID-19 spike: up to 70-something new cases today, from 30-something new cases per day two weeks ago and 10-something new cases per day in October. With 1,097 active cases in a population of 514k people, that is a positivity rate of 0.2%. I've checked the stats for other European countries, and Malta is still doing comparatively better. By a significant margin.

Is there a possibility that Malta gets swamped with COVID and that I eat these non-refundable tickets to Malta for late December because the country either shuts down tourism or becomes too dangerous to visit? Yes there is. But if anyone in Europe can hold off this current COVID rate, I am betting on Malta to do it.

Anyway I want to hear all about your experience using VeriFly and getting into Malta.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3080: November 19, 2021, 04:07:10 PM »
I think the only thing you will need to worry about is whether to get the ricotta or peas pastizzi.  Epidemiologically speaking anyways.   
Malta is indeed seeing a COVID-19 spike: up to 70-something new cases today, from 30-something new cases per day two weeks ago and 10-something new cases per day in October. With 1,097 active cases in a population of 514k people, that is a positivity rate of 0.2%. I've checked the stats for other European countries, and Malta is still doing comparatively better. By a significant margin.

Is there a possibility that Malta gets swamped with COVID and that I eat these non-refundable tickets to Malta for late December because the country either shuts down tourism or becomes too dangerous to visit? Yes there is. But if anyone in Europe can hold off this current COVID rate, I am betting on Malta to do it.

Anyway I want to hear all about your experience using VeriFly and getting into Malta.

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3081: November 28, 2021, 08:04:48 PM »
Omicron variant is here and travel is impacted.

The EU, US, UK, and many others have totally banned travel from South Africa and all of its neighbors. Switzerland is banning entry from any country where the Omicron variant has been discovered (which includes the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Hong Kong, etc. alongside Botswana and South Africa). Israel and Morocco have outright banned entry by foreigners.

What does this mean for my planned trip to Malta for Christmas? TBD but obviously not great news.

Offline imref

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3082: November 28, 2021, 08:31:03 PM »
Travel ban is useless

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3083: November 29, 2021, 09:31:46 AM »
Travel ban is useless
well, yes and no. It's a bit of closing the barn door after the horse left, and you certainly don't want your citizens and residents rushing back to beat a misperceived deadline (like we had in 3/20), but if you have somewhat less additional variant coming in, it probably slows the takeoff for a while.  It's here, and I'll guess it is in NYC, DC, and other places with travel to/from Africa, but to some extent, NYC's high vax rate probably slows the spread there.  It'll eventually back its way in from Europe, too, but hopefully a couple of weeks increases boosters and effectiveness, and gets a few more initial shots in the arms.  Buying a couple of weeks probably puts you in better shape than doing nothing.  I'd probably pull the travel ban off the week before Christmas once there's a lot of this stuff detected here.

Offline English Natsie

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3084: November 29, 2021, 04:26:30 PM »
Six cases already found, in Scotland, some of which have no connection with travel from Southern Africa - so Omicron is here, and community transmission is underway... :(

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3085: November 30, 2021, 05:29:43 PM »
Overall it looks like the COVID-19 situation is pretty stable in Malta and Malta is unlikely to ban foreigners because of Omicron. But I have a big problem: my 2 hour layover in Switzerland on the way to Malta.

You see, Switzerland and Malta are both part of the Schengen Zone, so while my flight to Zurich arrives in the international terminal, my flight to Malta is out of the domestic terminal. Which means that, legally speaking, I am entering Switzerland to catch my second flight. And Switzerland is going hog wild with travel restrictions and quarantine rules right now. The new rule is that anyone entering Switzerland from a country where Omicron has been detected must immediately quarantine for 10 days. Theoretically, this means that the moment I set foot in the domestic terminal at Zurich, I should be seized by authorities and put into quarantine for 10 days.

The Swiss government just put out guidance aimed specifically at British citizens (many of whom fly into Geneva and then immediately take a bus to France to hit the slopes) saying that so long as they do not enter any restaurants or businesses in Switzerland, they may travel through Switzerland to France (or another Schengen country) without having to do the 10 day quarantine. If generalized to a principle, this should allow me to catch my flight to Malta as well without having to quarantine for 10 days. Though I guess it would mean that I would be unable to patronize any businesses or restaurants in the domestic part of the Zurich airport.

Online JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3086: November 30, 2021, 05:56:34 PM »
gee, shouldn't the airline have advice on this?

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3087: December 01, 2021, 12:49:46 PM »
The situation can change at the blink of an eye but my guess is that you'll need to have submitted an online Swiss Passenger Locator Form in order to board the flight to Zurich.  Entry to Malta will require that you have enrolled in VeriFly - I'd do this now.  Also no one cares about the date of the booster - when you enter the date of the "last dose" in VeriFly or any PLFs, use the date of the second dose (assuming you didn't get J&J).     

Offline imref

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3088: December 02, 2021, 10:27:59 PM »
Rick Steves’ tour of Malta, Capri, and a few other islands coming up at 9:30 on WMPT


Offline imref

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3090: December 03, 2021, 03:34:30 PM »
New tourist destination?

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/12/211202092930.htm

Life will always find a way. I saw that in a movie once.

Offline English Natsie

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Re: "Holiday Road" - The Official Vacation Thread
« Reply #3091: December 03, 2021, 06:45:08 PM »
New tourist destination?

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/12/211202092930.htm

I'm sure we've all already been to some garbage locations, in our life-times.... :hysterical:

Offline Count Walewski

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The situation can change at the blink of an eye but my guess is that you'll need to have submitted an online Swiss Passenger Locator Form in order to board the flight to Zurich.  Entry to Malta will require that you have enrolled in VeriFly - I'd do this now.  Also no one cares about the date of the booster - when you enter the date of the "last dose" in VeriFly or any PLFs, use the date of the second dose (assuming you didn't get J&J).     

If you don't mind me asking, where did you get COVID tested on the way home from Malta?

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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A place called "Rapid Screening Malta" (rapidscreeningmalta.com); they have a couple of locations on the island.  I made a same day appointment for a rapid antigen test (€35/ea) and they e-mailed the results within half an hour.  They also do next-day PCR tests but--for the moment at least--that is not required to re-enter the US. 
I believe that one can also get them at the airport (if you are flying business on Austrian you should have access to the lounge which is a nice place to veg out for a couple of hours - they have a rooftop patio that is great for geeking out on takeoffs and landings, not that there are many of those). 

It occurred to me that this was only the second or third airport I've been to where all flights are international - if you fly domestic in Malta you are in trouble  :P