I have spent more than 60 hours in a month on planes. After 6 flights in January, my longest journey in the 6 following months was little more than 6 miles.
On 2 August, I flew from my first home in South West England to my second home in South West Turkey. I have just returned. What did I see/learn/feel ?
I certainly saw a lot of face masks. They were even required on open air archaeological sites with no one else around. Not so comfortable at 38 degrees.
Social distancing is ubiquitous, but more in theory than practice, especially when there’s a queue or, worse, a rush.
There was a huge queue outside Bristol airport when I departed, but none at all when I left Bodrum.
Extra hygiene provisions were good, with lots of hands-free technology introduced for sanitisers, taps and dryers.
I generally felt very safe and unthreatened. The flights were more straightforward than airport security, because of emptying pockets and putting belts/watches on to trays.
There were two incongruities that particularly caught my attention.
- Before leaving, I had to fill out a detailed form telling the authorities where I was staying, but on arrival there was no process for collecting it.
- Before returning, I was subjected to no less than 4 security checks, but not a single health check.
I was impressed, however, by the number of places like restaurants and museums that checked my temperature by holding a device over my wrist.
I didn’t encounter many face visors, except on shop staff and children. Nothing beats the re-use of a PET bottle in the picture below for improvisation. This was kindly sent to me, rather than witnessed by me directly.
I wouldn’t hesitate to travel again, but I don’t expect a return to any form of normal for quite a long time.