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Visit Sardinia during Covid-19
Visit Sardinia during Covid-19
Posted at: 11:00pm , 18 Oct 2020 By James Eacott

Visit Sardinia during Covid-19

Rachel visited Sardinia in September 2020 and reported on what it was like to travel during these strange times:

"So many aspects of our lives have been touched by the current global pandemic, and we have all had different perspectives on the things most important to us - our health, family and friends, jobs and those things that we do normally that make us happy - maybe socialising, exercise...

For me - and many others - one very big one is travel. And how we've missed travel! Things we took for granted - browsing websites of destinations, speaking to our travel agents and planning a weekend break, maybe something bigger - a holiday of a lifetime, a honeymoon, something spontaneous or maybe something to look forward to in the coming year or two. Understandably, travel is now considered rather inaccessible for the foreseeable future. Some may think it will never be the same again. And yes, that might have some truth, but maybe not all in a negative way. The pandemic has made us consider so many things in our own personal lives, but also for society as a whole and our natural environment. Haven't we all enjoyed the quiet roads (no longer so evident), birds singing (maybe they always did, we were just too busy to notice) and the lack of crowds everywhere we went. But the downside to this is how restrictive we've felt in having some of our freedoms taken away. But it's not all bad...

In the middle of September, just as cases were rising and our fears increasing along with them, I was fortunate enough to travel to the beautiful island of Sardinia, a trip I had been looking forward to for many months but never really let myself believe it would happen until we left the tarmac of Bristol airport and winged our way to Olbia. How wonderful it was to breeze through Bristol airport - no queues at security, shops virtually empty, the whole process feeling as if we were travelling 50 years ago. My concerns about how it would feel to be side by side with 120 strangers on the plane for just over two hours, having to wear a mask for this length of time, whether I had completed and printed the correct forms to have with me to allow me to travel - I needn't have worried. The process was as seamless as it was possible to be. Staff at the airport and the crew on board the flight were courteous and efficient, and gave me every confidence that we were being looked after perfectly. The plane was about half full and passengers respected the rules (well most of us were British after all!) 

It had been rumoured that Sardinia was in the process of introducing some new restrictions, that perhaps we would have to have a test and be clear of the virus on arrival, maybe we would have to quarantine on arrival - nothing materialised. On arrival and checking in to our hotel and without having had to jump through anything more than the usual hoops (plus the benefit of the quickest ever passport control queues at Olbia), it felt like we were free to relax, uncork the Prosecco and get down to the serious business of enjoying what turned out to be one of the best European holidays I can remember. Going about the half-empty hotel, local area and exploring further afield couldn't have been easier, with no more than the conditions we have endured here of wearing a face mask on public transport and in enclosed spaces. And speaking to some of the locals we were reassured that travelling to and in Italy was as safe as it could be - everywhere was clean, there was hand-sanitiser widely available and they could not have been more pleased to see us. Service in coffee shops and restaurants was excellent - maybe better than usual under the circumstances - and we felt confident everywhere we went.

The return journey was equally simple - just a form to complete online within 48 hours of departure to generate a QR code to show at Border Control back in Bristol. Even the staff at Border Control were friendly and polite - maybe because they had time to be!

So, all in all, I feel so lucky to have had this battery recharge, and for it all to have been so easy. I can't recommend highly enough the island of Sardinia - a real hidden (or maybe partially obscured) gem in the Mediterranean, and travelling from Bristol Airport is even more straightforward then normal. But the star or the whole process was our fantastic tour operator, Sardinian Places, whose services I would very happily use again - time and time again"

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