As some of you may already know, we recently embarked on a road trip from Spain to the U.K., stopping off at France, Monaco, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Liechtenstein. All of these countries were placed on the safe list for travel to England when we were travelling.
Unfortunately, Spain is no longer on the safe list but as we left long before quarantine was implemented we are not subject to quarantine in England. Anybody who leaves Spain on or after July 26th however is subject to quarantine.
I’ll post more about our road trip including the route and different bits and pieces in due time, but there has been a few requests to talk about the eurotunnel experience and what it’s like to stay in hotels in different countries at the moment so here we are!
We arrived at the Eurotunnel on July 31st 2020 at around 4pm. We had travelled directly from Cologne, Germany but did stop for a drink in Maastricht, Netherlands. It took us 6 hours to do the drive from Cologne and we made sure we had left plenty of time to arrive and check in. We couldn’t get on a train before 5pm to ensure that the 24 hours had passed since Rio had taken his worming tablet from the vet in Cologne.
Travelling by the Eurotunnel was relatively similar to it has been in the past. When we arrived, we first had to check in Rio at the pet centre. It was a drive through process. We handed over his pet passport which showed his worming tablet and up to date vaccinations which are required to enter the U.K. He was also scanned to ensure he had a chip. This then provided us with a hanger to put up to show that we had a dog onboard.
We then drove round to the French customs. We didn’t need to do anything at the French customs and just drove straight through. You then drive straight the way into the British customs.
We had filled in our visa and immigration form 24 hours before travelling. As soon as we booked our Eurotunnel crossing, we completed the enter the U.K. form. This is compulsory for everybody entering the U.K. regardless of whether you are British citizen, resident or tourist. On this form, we had to fill in where we would be staying in the U.K., what time we would be entering the U.K., where we have stayed in the past 14 days, our booking confirmation for the tunnel and other personal data like passport information and emergency contact information.
We didn’t need to show this form at customs, but it does say you need to have it downloaded or printed in case they ask to see it. The customs desk did open our form on their computer and double checked when we’d left the various countries. He said we were exempt from quarantine as everywhere is a safe country and travelling for tourism is allowed. He did have to double check that we left Spain before quarantine was imposed.
During customs, we had to take our masks down so he could check our faces to the passport.
We then drove straight round to the waiting area. Inside, there was takeaways open, Starbucks, WH SMITHS and the toilets. There was still a lot of shops and restaurants closed in the Eurotunnel waiting area. There was hand sanitiser when you walked in, masks were also compulsory and social distancing stickers were placed in the shops that were open and it was a one way system. You were able to enter through one day and exit through another.
Due to the current situation, there was a lot of delays at the Eurotunnel. The trains were all full and it was very busy. Although, like us, most people just stayed and waited in their cars. We took Rio into the pet relief garden where he had a little runaround. You had to socially distance in the pet area.
Our train was delayed by around an hour. After we were called, we drove straight round to the Eurotunnel embarking area. The staff were wearing masks but we weren’t required to do anything at all other than queue.
Once we were on the train, we had to follow the same procedure as before. Have windows half open, hand break on and engine off. Everybody had to remain in their vehicle at all times.
The experience with the Eurotunnel was pleasant and not stressful at all. We opted to travel by car as we feel this is the safest way to travel at the moment. We didn’t need to have contact with anybody at all during our trip across the Eurotunnel, except the customs desk where we remained in our car at a distance.