The French government published its latest Covid19 map of France about three hours ago and the good news is that apart from the area around Paris and a couple of the overseas territories, the great majority of the country is now green.
This does not mean that all restrictions on, for example, travel and social distancing in France have now been lifted but it does mean that they are likely to be far less restrictive as from 1st June. What does this mean for me? It means that the plan I’ve formulated to bring my ex-pat Xair over to France from the UK is likely to come to fruition in the first week or so of next month.
It’s now likely that the restriction on limiting flights to a maximum of 100 kms will indeed be removed as my contact in the DGAC said it might, meaning that I’ll not be needing a special dispensation to fly the Xair down from northern France to the Dordogne. But also, more importantly, it’ll mean that the airfields I need to land at, and especially the ones where I need to purchase fuel, Abbeville and Blois, will be open for business.
So what about the UK side of things? The UK government are continuing to handle the Covid19 crisis in the incompetent, bumbling and chaotic way that has resulted in the country becoming one of the most badly affected in Europe. As far as we all know, the ridiculous plan to impose a 14 day quarantine period on visitors entering the country is still likely to be applied as fom 8th June and despite the ridicule this has attracted, it will almost certainly go ahead as to withdraw it now would be seen as loss of face by the ministers and key officials who are behind it.
But luckily there are exemptions, one of which is ‘aircrew’ as defined in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Air Navigation Order 2016(h). For the purposes of this nonsense I’m going to assume that as a result of my reason for travelling to the UK, I will fall into this category. I have also made arrangements to overnight in the caravan used as Control on the airfield for the brief period that I’ll be staying over, hopefully no more than a couple of nights because my plan is to arrive on day 1, air test and prepare the aircraft on day 2 and depart on day 3.
This depends on the weather remaining favourable but it looks as though there’s a fair chance of that happening given current trends. I’ll then be leaving my car behind until I can return to pick it up shortly thereafter, even if it means coming back by Eurostar if the airlines aren’t back in business by then, so this means that I think I’ve got all the bases covered. I really can’t wait to be able to put the plan into motion so I can at last get the aircraft over here in its new home in the Dordogne.
And I have to say, I’m rather looking forward to the flight too, now that the conditions are looking so favourable, especially as with the long days at this time of the year, I should be able to do it in a single day rather than the two that I’d have needed in the dog-days of winter at the back-end of last year 😉