June 21, 2022

Traveling to the Philippines in Times of COVID19

 A lot of things happened since we arrived in the Philippines and I have still a long list of things to do but for now, let me take a break. Just like that, our three months vacation in Norway has finally come to an end. We’re officially on school summer vacation but we’re stuck at home so I guess I will just spend my vacation on throwback post. Hehehe! 

Read: Traveling to Norway in Times of COVID19

A month before our flight, I felt so stressed when I learned about “One Health Pass”. We need to present a negative RT-PCR or negative antigen test before our flight. And because of this, I did not pursue my travel plans, I planned to visit Finland a week before our flight to the Philippines but I stopped planning because I’m afraid that we might catch the virus and we can’t go back to the Philippines.

“1. Passenger is able to present a negative Reverse Transcription - Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test taken within 48 hours or a negative laboratory-based Antigen test taken within 24 hours, prior to departure from the country of origin. 

2. Fully vaccinated and must have the following proofs of vaccination against COVID-19 recognized under existing IATF regulations; 

A.World Health Organization International Certificates of Vaccination and Prophylaxis 
C.National/state digital certificate of the foreign government which has accepted VaxCertPH under a reciprocal arrangement unless otherwise permitted by the IATF” 

Instead of travel trips, I spent my time researching where we are going to take the swab test. It is not easy because there are limited options and we need to travel to Trondheim city just to take the test. The best option is to book a hotel and take the test at Trondheim Airport, Værnes. So several days before our flight, I reserved a room at Radisson Blu Hotel, Trondheim Airport for 3 people. 

The following day, I felt sad and happy when I learned that we no longer need to take the swab test starting May 30, 2022. I was sad because I already booked the hotel room. I chose the guaranteed reservation rate to save money so I can no longer cancel. Huhuhu! But of course, I was happy because we were able to save money. The cost of an Antigen Test in Norway is not cheap, 995NOK per person so it is more or less PHP6K (including the forex fee of our credit card). #12Ksaving 

“FULLY Vaccinated* International travelers bound to the Philippines are NO LONGER REQUIRED to undergo facility-based quarantine and EXEMPTED from PRESENTING Pre-departure COVID-19 Negative Test Result (RT-PCR/Antigen Test) as per IATF Resolution No. 168 (Effective May 30, 2022), ONLY if below conditions are met: 

1. Fully vaccinated* Foreign/Filipino nationals with Booster shot** for 18 years old and above. 
2. Foreign/Filipino minors aged 12-17 years old who are Fully vaccinated* AND accompanied by Fully vaccinated* with Boostered** parent(s) or guardian(s). 
3. Foreign/Filipino minors aged BELOW 12 years old, regardless of their vaccination status, who are accompanied by Fully vaccinated* with Boostered** parent(s) or guardian(s).”

Traveling to the Philippines in Times COVID19 

Since I don’t need any swab test results, I was able to register on One Health Pass, two days before our flight. 

Travel by Boat 

The day before our flight, off we went to Radisson Blu Hotel, Trondheim Airport, check-in time is still 3PM so we chose the 11:20AM Ferry Boat trip from Ørland to Trondheim. Travel time is more or less 1 hour, I like this trip because there are no other stopovers, straight na siya sa Trondheim seaport. 

Just in time for lunch so we ate at Røft Rôtisseri, for the last five years I’ve been seeing this restaurant every time we are in Trondheim so finally na-try na rin namin. We just took our time eating since we did not book any train tickets yet. 

Travel by Train 

For our past travel trips, we always took the Flybussen Airport Express Bus to reach Trondheim Airport, Værnes but three years ago, my mom discovered that it is cheaper to take the train. Imagine 200NOK bus fare compared to 42NOK train fare so it is a really big saving. We bought the 14:17 ticket at the machine, Trondheim Central Station to Trondheim Airport.

My only concern in riding the train is the luggage, I am not that strong to carry 25kls luggage but God is so good because, at that time of our trip, the train has no stairs (it is not always like that). 

Several years ago, I’ve learned that “Hell” is located in Norway and I was so curious that I wanted to visit this place. This place became a minor tourist attraction in Trondheim because of its name but the meaning of Hell is "overhang or cliff cave". It was just funny because Hell is supposed to be a hot place but here in Norway, temperatures in Hell can reach -25C during winter. The train did not stop there so I was not able to take a good picture of it. (todo zoom).

Radisson Blu Hotel, Trondheim Airport 

The train stopped at the Trondheim Lufthavn or Airport so we just walked to the hotel just beside the airport. And because of the train delay, we’re just in time for the 3PM check-in and no more waiting since the room is already ready. 

Travel by Plane 

Since the airport is just a few minutes walks from the hotel, we checked out at the hotel, 3 hours before our flight. Start of our long journey. 

Trondheim to Oslo 55 mins 
Connection Time 2 hrs and 20 mins 
Oslo to Doha 6 hrs and 30 mins 
Connection time 2 hrs and 50 mins 
Doha to Manila 9hrs and 25 mins 

Trondheim to Oslo via SAS 

The check-in counter is already open, the staff asked for our swab test results but I told him that we don’t need it anymore since we are already fully vaccinated. I gave him our vaccination cards and I showed him my One Health Pass but he did not mind it. He is more focused on our vaccination card information. After several minutes of checking, he finally gave us our boarding pass. 

While waiting for our boarding, I checked my email and I already got the One Health Pass QR Code, except for my son (for manual verification). Norway no longer requires the wearing of face masks so we did not see anyone wearing a face mask at the airport. And for our first flight via SAS, kami lang ng anak ko nakaface mask. 

Anyway, since we had a buffet breakfast at the hotel, we did not bother to eat lunch because we were still full. I was thinking that we have enough time to eat late lunch at Oslo Airport but I was wrong. Our first flight was delayed so we had no time to eat. 

Oslo to Doha via Qatar Airways 

Upon arrival at Oslo Airport, we immediately went to Immigration. When we reached the boarding gate, wearing of face mask is already required before boarding. The staff asked for our One Health Pass and Vaccine Certificate, but when she saw that my son has no booster shot, she asked for swab test results. I told her that we don’t need one but she was not convinced so she said, “Wait, I need to verify that”. Pero hindi ko na siya pinaalis, I showed her the screenshot of IATF travel advisory. After reading, she wrote, “Docs Ok” on our boarding passes. 

Our second flight was delayed too, “hangry” na ko dito. Pero hindi ka naman makakain so waiting na lang talaga kami sa first meal sa airplane. 

Onboard Menu 

Hungarian Beef Stew with mashed potato and parsley, potato dill salad, bread, and very berry cheesecake 
Selection of crisp, chocolate, and popcorn 

I used the One Hour Complimentary Super Wifi to update my husband and check if my son has already QR Code. But no QR Code for him. 

Doha to Manila 

Even though our flight was delayed, we have enough time for our layover but we still immediately went to our boarding gate kasi ayaw ko ng tumayo. At Oslo Airport kasi ang tagal namin nakatayo dahil wala ng upuan. Baka delay na naman, mahirap na. Fortunately, our flight was on time. 

Onboard Menu
Chunky Egg with chives and mayonaise sandwich 
Herb Frittata with grilled chicken sausage, infused bread, seasonal fruits, and fruit yogurt 

I took advantage of the One Hour Complimentary Super Wifi to check my email and update my husband. Unfortunately, my son has no QR Code talaga so I thought, wala rin use yung QR Code kung for manual verification yung anak. So hindi na ko nagmamadali sa paglabas kasi alam ko na mahaba ang pila. 

NAIA Airport 

As expected mahaba ang pila sa One Health Pass but I was glad because I was able to use my QR Code so no more long lines na. For my son, the staff just scan his bar code tapos enter-enter ng mga information and that’s it. Mabilis din sa Immigration kaso natagalan naman kami sa lugggage. Toink.

When we got out luggage, I just called my husband na pwede na niya kami sunduin. A month before our flight, my husband booked a room at Sheraton Manila Hotel so tapat lang ng NAIA 3. Actually, we can use the hotel complimentary airport shuttle pero mas prefer ni hubby na sunduin na lang kami para hindi na namin bitbit luggage sa room. 

At last, after two days of traveling by land, sea, rail, and air, we're finally home just in time for my husband's birthday celebration. 

No comments:

Post a Comment