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TRAVELLING DURING A PANDEMIC

TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY

TRAVELLING DURING A PANDEMIC

TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY

Who would have thought that 2020 would be the year that the world stood still? For many of us, our plans to travel came to a halt. Earlier this year (March), my husband and I decided to head back to Australia to get away from the UK. This meant we would be travelling during a pandemic. As the death toll was rising rapidly and our work slowing down, we booked a one way flight to Australia to get away. I certainly had mixed emotions at the time, but understood it was the best thing for us to do.

Booking Flights

We had been thinking of returning to Australia for a few weeks before making the decision to do so. When the Australian government announced and recommended that Australians return home, that’s when we decided it would be a wise idea. We also knew that flight costs were rising, and we also knew that certain airlines, like Qantas would be grounded if we left it too late to book. Another concern was the fact that Australian borders were closing, therefore, we wanted to ensure we could still get back in, as soon as possible. Thankfully, we were fortunate enough to still book one way flights at a reasonable cost.

Heathrow Airport

Upon our arrival at Heathrow airport, measures were in place for social distancing and hand sanitising. Helpful signage was also in place directing customers. Staff wore masks as they carried on their duties as best as possible.

Hey! I’m Jasmin and along with my husband, we are an Aussie couple living and working in the UK. In our spare time, we love to travel and discover this country we now get to call home!

Flight 1 ~ Heathrow to Singapore

Our first flight was from Heathrow to Singapore. This flight was still quite full as it was the start of the initial lockdown, with many heading back to Singapore or onward to Australia.

On board, while the cabins and seats were cleaned, we still wiped down our area for our own peace of mind.

Masks were worn by passengers and flight crew, so we were pleased to see everyone making an effort. I had a middle seat between my husband and another passenger. I think I only got up once during the whole flight, as I did not feel comfortable walking around.

Flight 2 ~ Singapore to Melbourne

Our second flight was a lot different. The plane was basically empty from Singpore, with plenty of empty seats. It really is difficult to comprehend that a plane can still run with next to none passengers on board. My husband and I had seats together, but thankfully we were able to move and get some sleep, as we stretched ourselves out on different rows.

Arrival into Melbourne

While I was sad to leave behind the UK for a while, in many ways, it felt good to be back on Aussie soil during these times. Our arrival into Melbourne Tullamarine was fast paced and rather strange. Having come from the UK, there were no checks on us at all. No covid testing and/or temperature checking. It felt like they just rushed us through the border/customs.

At Home Quarantine

We were lucky enough not to have to quarantine in a hotel at that time. Instead we were able to quarantine at a family home, in a separate self contained unit from the main house. We kept ourselves busy with online work, relaxing and chatting to friends on the phone and working alone in the garden. While it’s definitely not the way we envisioned 2020, we are thankful for our health and safety during these difficult times.

 

Life After Quarantine

With restrictions in place, life after quarantine was different. While it was great to be with family, the uncertainties of the months ahead loomed over us. As always, life must go on, so we made use of our time as best as possible. As we run our own businesses, with some of this being online, we were able to keep ourselves busy with this. In addition, we also went for daily walks, worked in the garden, watched some Netflix and just took in this time to relax. While we understand it is a difficult time for many, we hope that everyone has been finding ways to cope and/or fill in their days with positive things.