What’s it like travelling to Majorca following COVID-19? Those who follow me over on Instagram are probably painfully aware that I have just returned from a week’s trip to Majorca – beach snaps and pool shots were aplenty!
Travel between countries since COVID-19 came and disrupted all of our lives has been difficult, and although lockdown has eased and travelling has become more possible, it’s still an uncertainty for many. Because of this, I’d like to share my experiences and offer advice for those planning to visit Spain/Majorca in the near future.
It’s worth noting that we chose to visit Majorca purely to visit family who live out there. I hadn’t seen my Dad since January, and as we would be able to stay in the safety of their home, we didn’t hesitate to book flights as soon as was possible and we felt safe to do so. However, Spain and Majorca have also been a popular choice for holiday goers who wanted to escape to somewhere warm but not too far away!
When we booked our flights, the two-week quarantine rule upon returning to the UK was not in place. To be honest, we probably wouldn’t have booked the flights if this had been in place at the time of booking, but it was a risk we always knew was there. Luckily, there is no need to quarantine once you arrive in Majorca, just following your return to the UK.
However, if you are able to quarantine on your return, this might not be a big issue for you. If you’re about to book a trip, it’s best to discuss this with your place of work beforehand, as you will need to work from home if possible, or not work at all. It’s also important to consider that you will not be able to go out for walks or exercise, and it’s advised that you aren’t to go food shopping yourself if avoidable.
Pre-Travel Entry Form to Spain
The Spanish Government requires travellers to complete an online travel form from 48 hours prior to you entering the country – including the Balearic Islands. It’s super easy to find, simply Google ‘Entry Form for Spain’, or click here.
To complete the form, you will need your passport details, flight information, seat number (so make sure you have checked into your outbound flight before completing the form), and the address of the place you are staying at.
The form takes 5-10 minutes to complete, and you’ll receive a QR code via email once you have done so. Make sure to save this on your phone as the QR code will be scanned once you land in Majorca/Spain.
If you forget to complete the form online, you will be required to fill in the form by hand at the airport, so it’s definitely worth doing prior to flying.
Pre-Travel Entry Form to the UK
Similarly to Spain, the UK Government requires you to complete a form prior to returning to the UK. The questions are similar, and you can find the form here.
Our forms were checked after landing at Leeds Bradford airport. It’s not the end of the world if you forget to complete your form as you are given the opportunity to fill in the form via tablets in the airport, but it will make your life much easier if you complete the form beforehand.
The form asks for details in which the Government can contact you via, in order to check that you are quarantining – and they do check, as my brother received a phonecall the following day! I’m not entirely sure how it works, but I think they must be able to track your location during the call.
Leeds Bradford Airport
Airports are usually packed full of excited groups of travellers, with long queues at check-in desks and airport bars packed full of visitors, so I was naturally apprehensive about our first trip to the airport since the start of lockdown.
First thing’s first, you are required to wear your face mask at all times in the airport, except in bars, restaurants and coffee shops as you’re eating and drinking. Leading into the airport is a new marquee-style setup to control travellers entering the airport, which also gives travellers the opportunity to use hand sanitiser provided by the airport.
Once you’re in, it’s pretty eerie. The shops and kiosks that are usually open before you go through security are mostly shut. Queues at check in desks were non-existent due to a reduced number of travellers too.
Security was also extremely quiet for us, considering it was a Saturday, but the process itself is pretty normal. There are plenty of sanitising stations too, which was good to see but not unexpected. Once you’re through security, the usual bars and restaurants are open as normal, but it’s much quieter than you will likely be used to. This was, of course, a bit of a relief for us, but it’s sad to think of how much revenue the airport must be missing out on!
We flew with with Ryanair, and our flight was mostly empty. Many airlines had stopped flights to Majorca following the newly-imposed quarantine for those returning, but Ryanair hadn’t. However, many travellers had chosen not to fly as a result of the quarantine, which meant that our flight was still running, but extremely empty. This was the one time I have been thankful for Ryanair’s stubbornness in regards to cancelling flights/routes, as I was desperate to see my family! We boarded early and the flight left early. I wish it was always so seamless!
Travellers are required to wear face masks for the duration of the flight, again except for when you are eating or drinking. The seatbelt sign remained on for the whole of our flight to discourage people from moving around the plane for the sake of it, but we were still able to use the toilets – they just asked everyone to avoid queuing.
We hadn’t paid to reserve our seats and Ryanair had sat me on a row next to two other people. This felt disconcerting as I don’t think I’ve been this close to a stranger since the beginning of lockdown, but as most rows were empty, we moved to a clear row after take off. I must say, I think Ryanair should seat travellers together without charging in order to avoid strangers sitting so close, but this was a decision we chose to make as we predicted that the flight would be empty.
As we were staying with family, I can’t comment on what the hotels/Airbnbs are currently like in Majorca. I know that a lot of hotels have decided not to open at all this year, but there are some that are still open!
Oh how wonderful it was to feel sand beneath the toes after spending months in the UK! We went to the beach a couple of times during our trip, but we made sure to get there around 10am as it quickly fills up. We would then spend the morning by the beach and leave around 1pm, which is when the beach starts to get really busy. I’d advise going early morning or late afternoon if you want to go when it’s quieter. The number of people on the beaches is monitored by Majorca’s Civid Guard, who won’t hesitate to close beaches if they think it’s too busy and people aren’t able to keep a safe distance apart. We didn’t see any guards on the beaches, but we did see a helicopter each time we visited, which flies overhead to assess the situation.
Other than seeing the most number of people I have seen in months and having knowledge of the virus, the beach itself feels normal and is still a lovely experience. We visited Muro beach which is quite long, meaning that there’s quite a lot of space and it’s easier to spread out. I’d recommend researching your preferred beach beforehand, to make sure there’s plenty of space. It’s also worth noting that you don’t need to wear a face mask whilst at the beach, but will need it as soon as you leave.
A few beach bars and restaurants have re-opened, and the ones we visited felt perfectly safe, with hand sanitiser on offer. The same face mask rules apply as in the UK, in that you are required to wear a face mask whilst out and about, except in bars and restaurants and on the beach.
The places we visited were all really quiet, which is quite sad considering that these should be the island’s busiest months for tourism. It felt good to be supporting these businesses whilst we were there, though.
We visited Pollença one morning, which is a gorgeous little town in Majorca. It’s usually busy during August, but it was much quieter than usual – as expected. Pollença is known for its stylish and gorgeous shops, which were closed for months as a result of Coronavirus. However, these have started to re-open and most places looked to be open again! All shops looked to have hand sanitiser on offer too, and as it’s quieter, we found it easy to relax as we wandered around.
The supermarket situation is pretty much the same as in the UK, as you are required to wear a face mask. Supermarkets will vary I’m sure, but we visited a Lidl which felt like the same experience as a supermarket in the UK – hand sanitiser is available upon entry and exit, and the number of people allowed into the supermarket will be monitored if it gets too busy. Luckily, it was fairly quiet for the couple of times that we visited.
My overall experience of travelling to Majorca during COVID-19 was positive! I felt just as safe in Majorca as I did in the UK. The Balearic Islands have done an amazing job of limiting the number of cases of Coronavirus since it started, but it’s because of the ease of travel between mainland Spain – which has a large number of cases in areas – and the islands that the UK quarantine has been extended to the islands.
The 14-day quarantine is understandably a deterrent for many, but if you are prepared to quarantine for this time, I wouldn’t be put off travelling to Majorca. I think variations in compulsory quarantines and a different travel experience to what we are used to is going to be our future for a long time, so perhaps the quicker we adjust and get used to it, the better! You are responsible for your own safety, so just be conscious of where you are visiting and make sure to take hand sanitiser and a face mask.
Let me know if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer!
Happy and safe travelling!