Lockdowns, London and an airport test for COVID-19

When life give you lockdowns, sneak out when nobody is looking.

For anyone reading the blog in 2020, I probably don’t need to mention that it’s been a difficult one for most of us. Mark wrote a post back in July about a walk he took with his friends when lockdown restrictions were eased, which at the time made it feel like the country was beginning to recover from the coronavirus.

Sadly the freedom was short-lived and it wasn’t long before the government introduced a 3 tier system which put Liverpool in the highest tier, shortly followed by another full national lockdown.

Now I’m not here to just talk about the difficulties of lockdown as Mark and I were fortunate enough to get out of the country for a few days in October. We booked the trim on a whim after I’d burnt myself out with work and needed to escape the house, which was also functioning as my office and everything else in between.

We stayed in London for a couple of nights before leaving for Italy, which was a part of the trip we’d booked back in August to visit the final Secret 7″ exhibition. The exhibition was made up of 700 7″ vinyl sleeves, created for 7 tracks, with the idea that the cover artist and track would be a secret until all the sleeves have been purchased and the money donated to charity.

There was a brief period when we weren’t sure we’d even be able to see the exhibition as the gallery had decided to close for renovation work on the day we’d booked. Thankfully they agreed to let us in when we emailed to tell them we’d booked the trip to London with the sole purpose of seeing the artwork and that we both had cover designs in the exhibition.

After the exhibition we decided to head to The British Museum to continue looking at stuff for the afternoon. I can’t remember if I’ve ever visited it before, but I definitely need to go back when we have a full day to look at things in more detail.

I’m not sure when it was, but I think my dad planted the idea in my mind that it would be a good time to visit Italy while most people are afraid to travel. I’ve always had Italy in my mind as somewhere to go when I get older, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see it when it’s quiet.

Italy was still on the travel corridor list when we booked the trip in September, but by the time we left it had been removed again. On arrival in Italy we also needed to have a negative test result before we could leave the airport, which meant a private test beforehand or risk getting a free rapid test when we landed. I didn’t want to pay £120 each for a private test so we decided to risk being locked in a quarantine hotel for a few weeks instead.

To be honest the whole journey was a breeze. The train journey to the airport was really quiet, the airport was quiet, the flight was comfortable and there was no one forcing you to take the COVID test or prove you were virus free, so we could have just skipped the whole thing if we were feeling dishonest.

I’d much rather know I wasn’t risking anyone’s health for my own holiday, so rather than leaving quietly we let them wiggle swabs up our noses and waited for the test results. Half an hour later we were handed pieces of paper confirming we were negative and off we went.

I’ll most likely never get round to writing a post about the actual trip to Italy, but I still want to post this to keep it in memory as a weird period in time for travel.

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