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COVID-19: America reopens to the world. Virgin Atlantic & British Airways double takeoff

COVID-19: America reopens to the world. Virgin Atlantic & British Airways double takeoff

8 November (9 November in Australia) marked the re-opening of American international borders after nearly 20 months of closure. Virgin Atlantic and British Airways celebrated with a unique A350 duel takeoff from Heathrow, heading for New York’s JFK. There are now no quarantine requirements at either end of these USA/UK routes.

“Today is a time for celebration, not rivalry. Together with British Airways we are delighted to mark today’s important milestone, which finally allows consumers and businesses to book travel with confidence.

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive

Now, of course, neither airline is acting in self-interest of course, not on one of the most lucrative air corridors in the world, no, never. Still, it is good that air travel is heading back towards pre-pandemic levels.

Chaos of different safeguards in the USA

At both ends of this trip, you will be required to be vaccinated, and have a negative COVID-19 test, but that’s where it ends.

Like Australia, each American state has different rules about mask-wearing and vaccine passports, ranging from New York, where you do have to wear a mask and show your vaccine certificate, to Florida where they just don’t care. In the ununited kingdom, there are different rules depending on whether you are in Scotland or England. I’m not sure about Northern Island, Wales and Cornwall though.

a plate of food on a table

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

I don’t think I’m quite ready to head to the UK, or many parts of the USA. No mask and no vaccine requirement states like Florida are a bit frightening, and infection rates, despite a healthy vaccination rate in the UK still frighten me.

Having said that, I think that might be a bit of post lockdown anxiety – soon quelled as we head back into a kind of normal. But since my husband has banned me from booking British Airways, I won’t have to ‘enjoy’ that steak and gravy you see above in their coffin-like business class.

1 Comment

  1. AA56

    The next COVID winter is about to descend onto Europe and the USA. Why would you travel at this time?
    While the residents of Western Australia enjoy a COVID FREE lifestyle FREE of restrictions.


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