Australia has been on the UK’s green list for travel since May 17, however currently only Australian nationals and residents, as well as a select list of essential travellers, may enter the country. Heading to a foreign country may be top of the wish list for many people at the moment, but as Strictly Come Dancing star Dianne Buswell has shown, following the rules put in place isn’t always easy.
“Australia is on the UK green list so if you are an Australian citizen I believe you can get a flight,” she said.
“They are very few and far between so as soon as the Strictly Come Dancing Pro tour got cancelled I went online and booked my flight.
“You have to do PCR tests 72 hours prior to the flight, obviously that has to be negative. You have to do a health declaration form, for Western Australia you have to do a thing called a G2G pass. There’s just a lot of little bits and pieces you have to do to actually be able to fly.”
Dianne says this process left her feeling “stressed” right up until she was seated in the airport lounge.
“There are so many bits and pieces that you need to do and if you don’t do those bits and pieces it’s like you might not get on the flight,” she explained.
“I thought my PCR test was wrong, it wasn’t positive it was negative, but I thought I hadn’t done the right dates.
“It turns out I did do one thing wrong though. I’ve put the wrong date of arrival so [the check-in desk worker] has told me to come to the lounge, fix that, and then they will fix it at the gate. I feel a little bit uneasy only because I was so stressed.”
Luckily, the 32-year-old dancer managed to make it onto her first flight without a hitch and was surprised by how empty her business class aircraft cabin was.
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She filmed herself wearing her face mask while showing the deserted seats behind her.
“No one else is in here, it’s literally just me which is pretty crazy,” she said.
Once she arrived in Singapore, Dianne had a seven-hour layover, which she describes feeling as though she was “handcuffed”.
“Basically what happens is you get given a little wristband and you have to go into a waiting area which my waiting time is seven hours,” she explained.
“They give you a band. They put it on you, like full-on clamped to your wrist. It is like handcuffs almost except your hands are not cuffed together.”
Thankfully, during this time the dancer says she felt “safe” thanks to social distancing and sanitised seating.
She was also able to order food to be delivered to her via an app.
Throughout the whole process though, it was the 14-day quarantine that Dianne admits is, so far, the most “intense”.
“I have three Covid tests while I am here. I have to do 14 days here. They give you food, breakfast lunch and dinner,” she said.
During her stay, Dianna has been offered a diverse range of meals.
Some of her breakfasts have consisted of fruit and granola, lunches of chickpea salad and crisps, and on one evening she enjoyed a vegan sushi option.
However, she did note a yoghurt that was placed in her vegan meal.
Despite this, she says the experience “is not that bad”.
“I just want to point out they aren’t treating me bad,” she said.
“It is just a hard thing to have to do for anyone to stay in a hotel for 14 days. I think it’s sensible really. If I was to leave here, imagine, and then I went to see my Nan. I’d never forgiven myself.
“In many ways, I think 14 days is sensible. Yes it is hard, I am not going to lie.
“If you are going to do something like this you need to realise the 14 days in a room is intense.”
Luckily, the staff are very accommodating. Guests are able to order exercise equipment to their hotel rooms for rent, order food from a separate menu if they do not like the food included in the hotel quarantine package, and accept deliveries from friends and family.
Dianne added: “It is all good and I don’t want to make out that the hotel is bad because it’s not.”