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The hairless biker
Back to UK via Albania
With a new grandchild due in two weeks, the wife needed to go back to the UK to be with our daughter. So to avoid the compulsory 10 days detention in a quarantine hotel at an exorbitant £1750 we looked at other ways that we could get around this.
Albania is the answer, we flew last Thursday 17th Dalaman to Istanbul to Tirana with Pegasus. Booked a budget hotel for 12 days near the sea and I went along for a little holiday (returned to Dalyan today).
Why Albania you may ask, well Albania is an Amber country and has less than 3000 deaths from covid, it had no recorded cases on Tuesday and I believe only 32 cases in the last week, you can fly to Albania from Turkey with no restrictions, no pcr test, no antigen test, no visa nothing apart from a passenger locator form you're given on the plane.
To enter UK you must be outside of a red list country(Turkey) for more than 10 clear days ( UK ask which countries have you visited in last 10 days) so to be safe we booked 12 days in Albania.
So she will fly to Luton with wizzair next Tuesday 29th from Tirana and then spend the following 10 days in isolation at our daughters home.
Albania is a beautiful place, much like what Turkey was 25-30 years ago.
So too the costs, hotel was 25€ a night for the room, plus optional breakfast at 5€ per person.
Flights including 20kg luggage, Pegasus £150, Whizz Air £120, taxi transfer 30€ each way, pcr test at Tirana 35€ for entry to UK, day 2 and 8 test package for your isolation in uk £86. Add to this your daily food and drink £15 a day, then that's it. Total bill is around £900, not cheap cheap but better than stuck in a Hotel with airline meals serbed in polystyrene packages and 20 mins outside exercise a day.
It can be done cheaper if you get an apartment at 40€ a night and self cater, but we treated ourselves to a little holiday and we ate out every night.
You don't need to wear a mask either, which was a bit weird for the first few days, although we did wear them in shops and in the taxi etc but it's not compulsary.
Weather is about 4-5 degrees cooler than here but it was very humid and you need your sinkoff.
There are alternative Amber countries you can use, like Malta, Croatia, Bulgaria, Ukraine but we chose Albania as it was only 1hrs flight from Istanbul, it was easy to enter/exit ( on my return to Turkey, I just needed proof I had had both vaccines and fill in the plf) and you were free to roam.
I have found another way, fly to Heathrow with no pcr test, assault a Member of the border force, get sent to prison for 14 days, probably your fine would be less than quarantine hotel and you get board and lodgings for free with a couple of hours of exercise a day. ( This alternative method has not been proven yet and as such I would not recommend)

Lez Zetli

Bacon and eggs
Back to UK via Albania
Martirkz, thanks, very useful. I might follow this up. Where in Tirana can you get the pcr test for entry to UK?
EDIT: answering my own question: at the airport among others
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The hairless biker
Back to UK via Albania
The quickest is at the airport, the wife had her results back within the hour. She went to the airport 3hrs before her flight, the test centre is outside the terminal building in a portacabin, cost was 35€, you can pay by card but much like the rest of Albania cash is king.
There are other test centres in Tirana, Duress and other city's but the airport one is the cheapest and most convenient.

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