Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel policies are changing constantly and many people haven’t taken flown in a very long time. If you have any upcoming trips coming to, from, or through Heathrow Airport, you may be wondering what looks different since the last time you’ve flown. We’re delving into what travel through the airport looks like these days.
While testing rules for entering countries varies depending on where you’re going, Heathrow has you covered for in-airport COVID testing. There’s a whole range of private test options that you pre-book ahead of time. These include different testing methods and tests with results that come back quickly (45 minutes) or tests that take longer (next day and 48 hours). All of them come at different price points.
You should also know that testing will allow you to reduce your quarantine period when entering the UK. Beginning November 24th of last year, it was announced that the self-isolation period for international arrivals to the UK would be reduced to 5 days, as long as you get a negative COVID test after that time period.
You can now pre-order food and drinks at Heathrow airport from a variety of participating restaurants. This is welcome news for anyone hungry and stressed about making a flight while waiting in a security line or trying to make a quick connection, but it’s also wonderful in this new era of social distancing. Pre-ordering allows you to skip standing in a line with other people or engaging in an extended transaction with a cashier. All you have to do is download the Heathrow app, select the food you want, pay for it over your phone, and then go pick it up.
There are many safety measures currently in place at Heathrow airport to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 between travelers. First of all, face coverings and social distancing are required throughout the airport. But the airport is going beyond the standard, with lots of ways to help you avoid contact during transactions. This includes contactless payments at shops and restaurants, automated water bottle filling stations, and plexiglass screens at check-in counters.
You’ll also be glad to know that Heathrow has very extensive cleaning procedures in place. Most surfaces you might touch within the airport have been covered with an antibacterial coating and elevator buttons have even been covered with self-cleaning covers! Trolley handles are being sanitized constantly by Hygiene Technicians, and they’re providing antibacterial wipes so you can give the handles an extra wipe down if you would like. Finally, UV light cleaning technology (which eliminates the bacteria of DNA and makes them harmless) is in place in restrooms and on escalator handrails.
Many airlines have enacted new flexible policies to help travelers feel comfortable booking flights in this new uncertain era. Heathrow has met the bar with its own flexible policies for onsite parking. You can feel fine about booking official Heathrow parking for your trip because even if your plans change, you can cancel your parking reservation up to 2 hours ahead with no cancellation fee.
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