Boarding the two-hour, 30-minute flight to Reykjavik with Icelandair was orderly – strictly enforcing loading passengers to the rear of the plane first.
I also nodded in approval when all wheelie cabin suitcases were summarily dispatched to the hold to avoid passengers creating bottlenecks when manhandling them into overhead lockers. Only cabin luggage fitting under the seat in front is now acceptable.
When I boarded a solitary stewardess offered bottled water, the only refreshment service of the flight. The flight was almost full yet a mosaic of gaps (often middle seats) created some form of distancing. Passengers were only allowed to use toilets at the front, those at the back reserved for cabin staff.
Almost all passengers were returning Icelanders. My neighbour, 22-year-old Alexandria from Reykjavik, had been to see her English boyfriend. “We’ve had so few cases in Iceland, so I was nervous flying to the UK. But the flight is well-managed so I feel relaxed,” she said.
I wondered what she thought about Iceland opening its borders to foreign travellers? “It’s good financially but we are a bit worried. They say 900 visitors arrived on 16 June. It feels too many”.
This indeed was my greatest consideration. Not that I might bring coronavirus back to the UK - because I will adhere to the quarantine. My nagging worry was that I might be responsible for bringing the virus to Iceland. I felt completely healthy prior to travelling, but of course I could’ve been asymptomatic.