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2 hours ago, IanN said:

Not sure about that most seem to think the prime factors for spreading the virus is within families and 15 to 30 year old's not following social distancing.

The government needs to be seen to do some thing and imposing a quarantine is easy does not effect the majority of the population so does not cause too many waves. (excuse the pun)

It already seems to have dropped from the media headlines

Its probably a fair bet that the majority of the spread in Manchester and Leicester and the increase in the South West was not caused by foreign travel

 

Foreign travel may not be the only cause of the virus spreading now but without it we wouldn't have the problems we currently have and the virus would have remained in China. The more possible routes of spread that are cut off the better I would have thought. 

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My son wanted to see the Pont Aven come in and we hung around for the Connemara too. The Pont Aven even gave a blast of the horn as he waved from the round tower. 

Can I just say that’s terrible news about your wife - I for one would like to pass on heartfelt thoughts to you both as I’m sure other Enthusiasts will as well.... Chris

When did they install that massive bird on the mast? Is that to scare the hell out of the seagulls and stop them from pooping on the poop deck?! 😉

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Worrying article - BF won't be able to pay off loans, would like some grants !

https://mobile.francetvinfo.fr/sante/maladie/coronavirus/quarantaine-imposee-par-le-royaume-uni-a-l-arrivee-de-france-si-on-ne-nous-aide-pas-on-ne-s-en-sortira-pas-tout-seuls-explique-brittany-ferries_4076769.html

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The quarantine imposed by the United Kingdom on passengers who came from France since Saturday morning is a "heavy blow" to the activity of Brittany Ferries believes its managing director Christophe Mathieu. 

"If we do not help us, we will not come out on our own" , laments Sunday August 16 in the evening on franceinfo Christophe Mathieu, Managing Director of Brittany Ferries, the leading French company in terms of employment for sailors, company of largest passenger transport to Great Britain, while the United Kingdom has imposed since Saturday morning a fortnight for all passengers coming from France, in a context of health crisis linked to Covid-19.

franceinfo: How did you react to the announcement by the British government?

Christophe Mathieu:  It's a hammer blow. We had not already had passenger activity in April, May, June. This weekend, Saturday and Sunday, we had to carry 5,400 passengers on departures between England and France. Finally, we will transport 2,300. To give you an idea, last year, for the same weekend, we transported 13,400. In other words, we thought we would have a season around 40%, with the announcement , the season will end with at least a halving of reservations.

That is if France, in the coming days, does not announce a form of reciprocity either. If in addition France announces that the British, when they arrive in France, must confine themselves or put themselves in fourteen, there we can fear that the entire portfolio of reservations will disappear.

Do you dread the coming months?

We already had one knee on the ground following the first period of confinement, which was already extremely critical. There, with the announcement, without having any visibility over time, since today very clever who could say how long this measure will be implemented, we can fear that, beyond September-October, reservations are very, very low this winter, at least until spring 2021, provided a vaccine or solutions have been found.

It makes us the second knee to the ground. We are saying that the company is strongly affected, that it will not get out of it on its own.Christophe Mathieu, Managing Director of Britanny Ferriesto franceinfo

It is all the more frustrating since you are not normally a company in difficulty. Overall, before the Covid, we were more in a positive dynamic, we know exactly what we want to do in the years to come, we have a fleet renewal plan in place. There, with what is happening, if we do not help us, we will not get by on our own.

What help are you asking the government for?

The government knows what we want to say to it, because unfortunately, already after the first period, the difficulties were evident. We know that there are things that the government can do in terms of aid, particularly in terms of the charges that we bear on the salaries of our sailors. He knows what he can do, it's up to him to decide. We have to regain competitiveness. We will have to be able to repay the debt, since we took out a first loan guaranteed by the State.

With what just happened, I'm not sure we have enough of this EMP. To be able to repay this debt and continue to project the company into the future, we will need something other than loans, we will need assistance to be able to repay the debts, since the economic model of the company will not support this debt.

Are all shipping companies serving the UK affected by the same challenges?

They are in the same situation, but the problem is perhaps a little less serious for them, in the sense that they have a more important freight activity than us in relative, whereas we 85% of our activity is passenger transport. Our colleagues, DFDS, P&O, Eurotunnel, have much more freight, they are more or less half and half passenger-freight. As the freight is maintained and has been maintained, I think that they are relatively less impacted than us, which does not prevent them from being strongly impacted, since the international transport companies are perhaps, with the companies of the show, the most affected. Movements between countries have been strongly impacted.

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2 hours ago, Rattler43 said:

Foreign travel may not be the only cause of the virus spreading now but without it we wouldn't have the problems we currently have and the virus would have remained in China. The more possible routes of spread that are cut off the better I would have thought. 

Fully agree it could have been kept in China for longer but look in the average house and see how much stuff has come from China. So it was bound to get out at some time. 

The government did nothing about closing borders in the early days and so now its seems to me a bit like too little to late and will be used when the postmortem takes place as a way of deflecting criticism from the lack of early preventative actions..

My opinion is (not stated as a fact) is that travel abroad is not a prime source for the spread of the virus at this time.

Each has their own opinions on what should and should not be allowed. I think that going to the pub / restaurant is a far greater risk than travelling abroad so I avoid pubs and restaurants.

I have not yet decided on my planned September Trip as I can amend everything without any cost so will asses the risk over the next two to three weeks

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My opinion is (not stated as a fact) is that travel abroad is not a prime source for the spread of the virus at this time.

I'm inclined to somewhat disagree (as the surveys have it!)

The very act of travelling brings you into close contact with people from all ove the UK as you congregate in close proximity in airports and even more so on the plane and transfer coach. It seems that social distancing on ferries is also hit and miss from first hand experience on here, queues for the stairs etc. You might be cheek by jowl with people from a Covid hot spot but you would never know it. Then when you arrive at your destination everyone heads off in all directions to their holiday accommodation and you can bet the majority of them are not semi self isolating in gites but staying in hotels and enjoying themselves in bars etc. where social distancing is again very hit and miss. Visitors are probably infecting the locals as well as their compatriots.

Then everyone comes back and the reverse process occurs as they all head off home with the additional garnish of maybe having picked up something extra from locals at their holiday destination as well as from their fellow travellers. OK, travelling by car on a ferry must lower the risk very substantially but the number of ferry passengers to France and Spain is dwarfed by the numbers going by air.

If you bring the virus back it is more likely you have caught it from a fellow Brit but it is the travel that is the reason becuse otherwise you would not have come in contact with them.

It's nuts really!

 

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6 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

t's nuts really!

 A really grown up attitude

I am trying to express an opinion I know it differs with yours but freedom of speech is allowed in this country.

I will probably accept your opinion and not travel in September but your opinion seems to be a fact in your eyes and anybody who disagrees is NUTS.   

My opinion is well know and so is yours so how about calling it a draw and both of us saying nothing more on the subject

 

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I was simply trying to apply logic that's all. I quite agree that going to a pub is potentially a high risk situation, surely crowding together at airports, on planes and in buses with strangers from all over the country is equally risky at the very least?

It is unfortunately a fact that the increase in infections in mainland Europe coincides with an increase in holiday travel. Greece, which had one of the lowest rates of  infection is now seeing rises which the UK Government think may require the application of quarantine before very long according to reports in today's Times. And the increases are concentrated in the holiday hot spots. Same applies to Croatia.

In Spain infection increases in the Balearics are being associated with the influx of German tourists who are now obliged to quarantine on their return.

 

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But what you say is not applying logic. It turning supposition into facts. You said a prime source of transmission was travel but without evidence. You seem to be saying that the increased transmission is due to overseas travel. It’s more likely due to relaxation in the regulations generally and from major domestic holiday times across Europe. I’m not sure you’ve produced any evidence for UK travellers being the cause of an increase in the rate of infections.

but then again I may be “nuts” or “out of my right mind” or other terms that try to belittle a different viewpoint.

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Ian, I didn't mean to imply you were nuts! Just that the situation with thousands of travellers criss crossing Europe for pleasure in the midst of a global pandemic is, shall we say, not a very good idea.

I quite agree that relaxation of the regulations is causing increases in infections but in the cases of pubs etc. it lis most likely to have a local effect. It is the mixing of strangers spreading out over wide areas both within and outside their own countries that  is likely to be causing the spikes in the main European holiday destinations and that certainluy sems to be the view of the various authorities.. At the moment we are not seeing the same effect in the UK despite the problems in Leicester, perhaps because there is no large influx of European tourists into the UK.

The whole situation is horribly complex and it is difficult if not impossible to pin down the relative causes of infection trends with accuracy but there are certainly pointers towards travel being a significant factor as I think the situation in Greece demonstrates. They were afraid that once they opened up to tourism this would happen and so it has. The hot spots are those frequented by foreign tourists, the Greeks themselves tend to holiday in other areas.

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Everybody who decided either to travel or not to travel is turning suppositions into facts, for the simple reason that there are no facts to go on, not really. Now I think there are a number of reasons why travelling through a travel terminal could well be more of a risk than going to the pub, but I don't know. I have just chosen this year not to do it, as I have chosen not to go to a pub as it happens. If I was pressed I would say that the chances of being in dangerous  contact with someone who has suppressed their temperature with copious draughts of calpol is probably a tad higher in a plane than elsewhere but nowhere near as high as the journey from where I am sitting now to the waiting room at St Pancras International. In the end we can only decide for ourselves as the government, to use the term in its technical sense you understand, is only working from the same set of suppositions based on data which probably can't be relied on and reacting to  the lobbying pressures from an industry which is probably only mm from imploding completely. 

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Millsy - travelling to st Pancras you'd probably have a carriage all to yourself most of the way... 😀

TBH I would think travelling to France with BF and holing up in a rural gite for your holiday would be a pretty risk free experience. When you get there you have full control over the level of social distancing you are comfortable with.

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Freight is now their Achilles heel. They have a monopoly on the Western sea routes yet only 15% of their revenue is actually freight, which is and has been travelling normally. Freight doesn`t care where its shipped from or at what unsocial hour but hauliers want the cheapest route which means the short sea will always win out. Maybe Portsmouth is not as attractive to Hauliers as the South East, and Southampton is mainly containers. Either way, without the bread and butter of a substantial freight market, relying on the fickle nature of UK holiday makers/home owners must class as a serious flaw in any such business plan. Sadly they are not the only ones left holding the parcel when the music stops.

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1 minute ago, Paully said:

Freight is now their Achilles heel. They have a monopoly on the Western sea routes yet only 15% of their revenue is actually freight, which is and has been travelling normally. Freight doesn`t care where its shipped from or at what unsocial hour but hauliers want the cheapest route which means the short sea will always win out. Maybe Portsmouth is not as attractive to Hauliers as the South East, and Southampton is mainly containers. Either way, without the bread and butter of a substantial freight market, relying on the fickle nature of UK holiday makers/home owners must class as a serious flaw in any such business plan. Sadly they are not the only ones left holding the parcel when the music stops.

It is interesting that they are saying that they will be unable to support their debts, if they can’t get government support that either means the regions or an external investor. 

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If you can`t support your debts you are technically bankrupt. I think the support may well come from the Government but via the regions (Somanor/Bret). External investors would be the last resort as they may demand changes they would find difficult to make. All round sad situation but I honestly thought their freight market was a lot bigger.

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9 minutes ago, David Williams said:

It is interesting that they are saying that they will be unable to support their debts, if they can’t get government support that either means the regions or an external investor. 

I wonder where that leaves Condor? How much did BF pay for their stake? 

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19 minutes ago, Paully said:

If you can`t support your debts you are technically bankrupt. I think the support may well come from the Government but via the regions (Somanor/Bret). External investors would be the last resort as they may demand changes they would find difficult to make. All round sad situation but I honestly thought their freight market was a lot bigger.

What external investor would be remotely interested? In reality the major creditors would be the French taxpayer in one way or another and they never press for payment. The CEO seems to be blaming government policies for his problems and he has a point obniously, but the terrible standards of customer service between March and July - reported frequently here- plus a stream of critical comments on onboard standards for two years plus a booking site that doesn't work must also be playing a part. As I said the other day he has to start reshaping the business to a size that might have some chance of surviving and make sure that that is profitable. He won't be Mr Popular.

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The CEO seems more positive in his latest letter on the web site (17 Aug at 15.40) where he says "We've secured a substantial financial recovery package for our long term future"  This would suggest BF are now worried about shorter term cash flow rather than long term viability.

 

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13 minutes ago, Millsy said:

What external investor would be remotely interested?

The infrastructure fund that owns 75% of Condor could be interested and maybe Stena would be interested given that they will own 3 of the Spanish boats.

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2 hours ago, cvabishop said:

Millsy - travelling to st Pancras you'd probably have a carriage all to yourself most of the way... 😀

TBH I would think travelling to France with BF and holing up in a rural gite for your holiday would be a pretty risk free experience. When you get there you have full control over the level of social distancing you are comfortable with.

I said a draw so a draw it is from my side and I will make no further comment apart from stating my planned holiday if I go is Cap Fin to Bilbao then a small Casa near Arriondas nearest property 1/2 mile away. Have known the owners for over 10 years and trust them to clean thoroughly. Anyway we have two bottles of Dettol ready. Activities include walking and watching raptors and other wildlife from the garden. Will drive out into the Picos for walks and a drink / meal in a small bar so social distancing will not be a problem and young party goers are not a problem. We will need to visit a small supermarket but the risk I think is similar to the UK. (Our local Asda at Fosse Park very close to Leicester has a couple of hand sanitisers but all other social distancing restrictions have been removed)

This was not the original plan which was to tour Spain down as far as Merida which was then amended to Galicia and now reduced again.

So I do share your concerns and am sorry that we seem to have opposing views about what is opinion and what is fact but not on reducing the spread of the virus

Ian

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Yes Ian, we will agree to disagree. Your own trip sounds fine. We visited the area many years ago and loved it. 'Green Spain' dos get overlooked by many heading for the Costas.

If you do decide to go I hope the sailings work out OK and maybe quarantine will have been lifted or at least modified by then. We just hope we can get back to Greece next year. Unfortunately a ferry isn't an option!

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Blaming foreign travel, in the latest months, is a non starter. The Irish Government tried to use this excuse and its' own data proved it wrong. Less than 2% of all cases in the Republic can be attributed to foreign travel and despite all these flights arriving from the good old US of A.

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4 hours ago, Millsy said:

What external investor would be remotely interested?

Private Equity firms and “Vulture capital” funds are circling distressed companies which have run out of cash but otherwise have good long-term market prospects – they are looking for a purchase at a knock down price. There is a fairly well repeated formula when private equity takes over – slash costs, outsource, load the company up with debt and then flog the company on as a lean, efficient, regular source of dividends.

The ownership / asset structure of Brittany Ferries may complicate a distressed sale, but never say never....

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