Andrew Atkinson talks exclusively to Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Liverpool University NHS Foundation Trust, Cathy Chadwick, who returned to Spain for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown in mid-March, that led to flights cancelled worldwide.

“On entering Nottingham airport departures there was an automatic temperature check, hand sanitiser and face masks had to be worn”, said Cathy, who visited Los Montesinos, Alicante, for a summer vacation in the wake of COVID-19.

“It was quite strange, as most of the check-in desks were closed – and it was totally empty. Security was the same, but again totally empty,” said Cathy.

Nottingham airport: eerily quiet.
Nottingham airport: eerily quiet.

“In the airport there were no duty free, or other shops open. There was one bar – where you could get food and drink – but no chairs and tables.

“Again, it felt very strange, being so quiet. There were only two other flights departing on the day.”

Cathy added: “On the plane face masks had to be worn, if you weren’t eating and drinking.

“People mainly stuck to this, but some forgot to put them back on. The plane was probably two thirds full. And you had to buzz, to go to the loo.

“What was surprising, a full drinks service was operating, scratch cards – and a duty free trolley.

“It was certainly quieter, but apart from the face masks, not much different from a normal flight, and it never felt unsafe.”

After touching down in Spain, Cathy said: “Upon arrival at Alicante-Elche airport you had to fill in a health check form, one per person, not per family.

“You also had to fill one out online, that gave you a QR barcode. You had to hand your form in and scan your own bar code.

“Temperature checks were automatic and there were people in PPE, doing visual health checks. If you had your form filled in, it was a quick process.”

Andrew Atkinson Books

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