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Travelling home for Christmas during Covid times

The last weeks were marked by a lot of thoughts, discussions and internet research. Thoughts about whether I should travel home for Christmas. Discussions with family and friends what needs to be taken care of. Research about what regulations are in place and what could change until today, my day of going home after one year in Sweden.

It has been exhausting weeks with many ups and downs. We all know how uncertain the current times are. All of a sudden, travelling has become much more complicated in our globalized world. I know that some of my friends have already decided to stay here over Christmas, some went already home, but some might still struggle to make the final decision. That’s why I decided to share some of my thoughts and experiences today.

I had booked a flight home in May this year but when Covid started, I quickly decided that this journey will not take place. So I decided to change my booking to Christmas – back then, I was sure, that everything would be back to normal by then. Well, we all know that it’s not. So when December approached, I was still sure that I would somehow be able to travel home to Germany. However, I started looking into the regulations and guidelines and found pages over pages about who needs to quarantine how long when travelling to Germany. It took days until I found regulations that fit my personal case. There were so many exceptions that I had to read texts three or four times until I was quite certain to know what I’m supposed to do. Of course all of my German friends started discussing how they understand the regulations and we soon had to find out that all federal states of Germany decided to go their own way and thus all had different regulations. Could it get any harder?

Yes, it could! The Covid numbers are rising in Germany as they do nearly all over the world at the moment. So, last weekend, it was time for the government of Germany to make a new decision. I was sitting here in my home, waiting for them to make a decision, fearing that it might influence my whole travel plans. But this time, I got lucky! Even though the whole country is in a lockdown since last Wednesday, they did not change anything for traveler’s that live in Germany and visit their family over the holidays.

So, in the end, I decided to go on the journey, a negative PCR-test in my suitcase, to spend some time with my family at home. If you’re still struggling, if you should go on your own journey, I recommend checking all regulations and guidelines of your country carefully. It might also help, to call the respective health office, to get first-hand information. Be aware of the risks that the journey and the visit might have. I realized through this all, that the more people you talk to, the more opinions you will hear. Of course, this is a good thing and might help you with your decision. But in the end, it remains your own decision. Wherever you currently are, I hope you made the right decision for yourself and have some wonderful days off!

Stay safe everyone!
// Maria