Once upon a time, I planned a trip to England.
Three postponements later, I was finally able to set off. Traveling internationally during a global pandemic required some additional measures. In total, I took three COVID-19 tests—one within three days of flying, one upon arrival in London, and one within three days of returning home.
The first I took at a local pharmacy; the second, at a test station within Heathrow Airport; and the third, in a hotel room using an online test kit. All were uncomfortable. All were quick.
In England, wearing masks was mandated on public transport, such as trains and the Tube. Elsewhere, they were optional. Few of the British wore them.
At the time of the trip, eighty percent of England’s population over the age of twelve were fully vaccinated (compared to not quite sixty percent in the United States).
Due to travel restrictions, foreign tourists seem to be curiosities in England. At Waterloo station, I asked an agent to validate my rail pass. He seemed fascinated by it. “I haven’t seen one of these in two years,” he said.Continue reading