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A roadmap for Optimism


Andy
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I think the imperative at the moment is that a reasonably secure 'quick and dirty' solution is needed in Europe at least to save the summer holiday season and the French, Spanish and Greek etc. tourist industries. And no doubt Turkey will want to be part of that too.

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1 hour ago, cvabishop said:

How do you prevent forgeries?

If you can't activate the QR code or bar code at source then they're worthless and they know which batches have gone where, It's what they do at the national lottery warehouse where the scratch cards are stored.

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The reports coming out of France seem to indicate that the country still has massive problems with Covid infection rates and vaccination delivery and takeup and a lot of other EU countries aren't doing very well either.

Some of this appears to be down to mismanagement but maybe their lockdowns have not been strict enough allowing the virus to surge.

Here on the Surrey/Sussex border, the reported  infection rates are down to around 20/100,000 which is around half the UK average. This is comforting but I can appreciate the unwillingness of the authorities in letting the genie out of the bottle again and it does make sense to me to allow the effects of the vaccination programme to kick in before easing restrictions.

The way things are going at the moment it looks as if travel to France will be quite risky for a considerable time yet and long after travel restrictions within the UK are relaxed. Macron did a lot of damage by initially rubbishing the AZ vaccine and should be held to account for that as it just encouraged the natural antipathy to vaccines in France.

I won't be booking a cross channel trip for a long time yet.

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We had a BF flexi booking for Cork-Roscoff and Cherbourg-Rosslare in April and were thinking of cancelling and amending to later in the year. However BF beat us to it and have cancelled all bookings until 17 May, even though sailings are still in the timetables (freight I assume). Have been offered free amendment, voucher, or full refund. 

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France again recorded around 21,000 new cases yesterday.  This number has fluctuated since early December but has rarely gone above 25,000 or below 18,000. It seems that it may just be necessary to live with this high but stable number until they can get massively more people vaccinated. The problem is that the only way to find out if any of the current solutions are working is to drop one of them and see if numbers rise. I think the curfew will have to be relaxed soon as the days are getting longer and people will want to go out to do sport after work and they currently can't do so. I think a 7 or 8pm limit will need to be adopted for the next lot of school holidays starting in week 15. 

Ed

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Yes, all areas are better than the horrendous situation in January when  the Kent variant ran wild. The problem seems to be that there are still hot spots which could act as a jumping off point for another surge if restrictions are relaxed too quickly.

It should become apparent within the next ten days whether the reopening of schools is going to have a significant effect on infections. If not and the overall levels carry on going down then things will be looking brighter. It is still really important to  maximise the overall vaccine take up though. Not being able to go abroad for a holiday unless you have been vaccinated will concentrate a good many minds I think.

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28 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Not being able to go abroad for a holiday unless you have been vaccinated will concentrate a good many minds I think.

Not saying I disagree but very dangerous grounds politically in the UK. Other counties imposing the requirement is one thing. The British government saying you can't travel unless you have been vaccinated is another. A lot of the population will not be vaccinated due to age so they could argue that it is age discrimination which is illegal in the UK?

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Sorry Ian, I shuld have made it clear, I did mean the willingness of other countries to receive us. We have no control over that. Some are already stipulating that they will only allow the fully vaccinated in.

I wouldn't suggest that the Leicester situation will continue indefinitely, infection rates will inevitably come down as the virus runs out of victims and there is a degree of herd immunity. But it will take longer if a significant number of people refuse the vaccine and rely upon vindaloos to enforce social distancing.

Exemption arrangements will need to be made for those who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds, presumably tests will apply in these instances. However, if you are unable to have a vaccine, would you want to travel to a country where you would be totally unprotected anyway? Certainly not anytime soon I would think.

 

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1 minute ago, cvabishop said:

Exemption arrangements will need to be made for those who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds, presumably tests will apply in these instances. However, if you are unable to have a vaccine, would you want to travel to a country where you would be totally unprotected anyway? Certainly not anytime soon I would think.

And will you get insurance?

 

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14 minutes ago, BobCrox said:

And will you get insurance?

 

The cynic in me would say that you would get insurance, but you wouldn't be covered!!

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43 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Sorry Ian, I shuld have made it clear, I did mean the willingness of other countries to receive us. We have no control over that. Some are already stipulating that they will only allow the fully vaccinated in.

I wouldn't suggest that the Leicester situation will continue indefinitely, infection rates will inevitably come down as the virus runs out of victims and there is a degree of herd immunity. But it will take longer if a significant number of people refuse the vaccine and rely upon vindaloos to enforce social distancing.

Exemption arrangements will need to be made for those who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds, presumably tests will apply in these instances. However, if you are unable to have a vaccine, would you want to travel to a country where you would be totally unprotected anyway? Certainly not anytime soon I would think.

 

I would love to go and do have bookings for June but for me it will be the same as last September.

a) It must be legal

b) no severe punitive requirements on return (self isolation at home would be acceptable to me)

c) no excessive (Rip Off) Testing Costs

d) a very careful assessment of the area of a country to be visited no large cities I have booked two nights in Santiago De Compostela but will almost certainly change this.

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Likewise Ian..We have bookings for late June and August and we would adopt pretty much the same rules as you. One of the beauties of taking the car to France or Spain is that you can avoid large cities and be careful where you go. Driving avoids the inbuilt problems of airports and the accomodation we have/are going to book are pretty isolated in themselves. Contact with other people can be no more than we have at home, should we choose that. 

Whether the authorities here and there see it the same way is part of the present day `gamble of life`...Fingers crossed anyway.

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I would imagine that domestic cruises will be quite popular in providing a covid free destination to a lot of fully vaccinated elderly customers.  There are plenty of UK ports of call for those who want to go ashore but the big ships are destinations in their own right and a lot of people don't bother anyway.

One big issue for them will be getting the crews on board and ensuring that they are 100% covid free which could be a problem given that crews are usually multinational. They will need to get them aboard a couple of weeks in advance to be confident of this. Ideally the crews should be vaccinated but the countries they come from may not have got that far with their vaccination programmes plus there is the risk they could bring variants with them so I imagine the ships will have to quarantine before being permitted to accept passengers.

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16 minutes ago, Paully said:

Seems the Spanish might well be rather advanced with their vaccine passports. This is a quote from the Spanish Government Minister directly involved:

https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2021/03/10/breaking-news-spains-tourism-minister-says-vaccine-passports-could-start-in-may/

Dare to believe 😁

How to get hold of one may prove interesting but we shall see

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Just now, IanN said:

How to get hold of one may prove interesting but we shall see

Indeed, I suspect there is a lot going on behind the scenes to get the entire holiday industry going again. We might have an inkling next month circa the 17th when the UK Transport sec is due to announce a bit more..

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Given that the vaccines are not 100% effective, I wonder if people might think twice about visiting a country that still has very high infection levels. As already stated earlier, there  could be  well be insurance implications.

It is all very well to be 'leading edge' when restarting international travel but it is the leading edge that hits all the problems and obstacles. Much better to be in the second wave when the problms have largely been resolved. After all, we go on holiday to enjoy ourselves, not worry about where the next problem is coming from.

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I think you might be in for a shock when the shackles come off at the high number of people who will be on that first wave hitting the beaches in the lovely sun and will be thoroughly enjoying themselves, after an unprecented lock down and without a care in the world..After all, for most (not all) younger people this has been a bit of a non event. 

Your next problem will present itself, sooner or later. Life is for getting on with living, in between the problems. Either way I`m off as soon as I can. 

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1 hour ago, cvabishop said:

Given that the vaccines are not 100% effective,

No vaccine is, It doesn't stop the world getting on with life.

People don't catch the flu, TB, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Malaria, Cholera or Polio simply because they've not been vaccinated and thousands of people die every year of these same bacterial & viral infections who have been vaccinated and continue to be vaccinated year on year.

The difference is that it's not rammed down your throat and plastered all over every media outlet.

 

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No, it is true that it is difficult to get a proper perspective on this but the number of people I have known who have died or been otherwise severely incapacitated by Covid in just 12 months has coloured my perception. Over the same period, and indeed over a much longer time, I have not been personally aware of anyone who has caught or suffered from any of the other afflictions listed above.

Nor, in all my lifetime, have I previously seen the  near swamping of NHS facilities or a number of my relatives having had frightening delays in treatment of life threatening heart conditions and cancer conditions which might still have serious consequences.

And on a personal note, if I had had the recommended treatment for my eye stroke early last year instead of having had to settle for delayed treatment then I might still have two functioning eyes instead of one and not be at risk of losing my driving licence.

Maybe I move in the wrong circles.... Hey ho!

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Getting more and more worried about situation in France which had more than 30,000 new cases today. The trend is slowly rising. Has Macron got a real grip on this. Could be that this summer we're allowed out of Ireland but can't go to France. 

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1 hour ago, BigDW1946 said:

Getting more and more worried about situation in France which had more than 30,000 new cases today. The trend is slowly rising. Has Macron got a real grip on this. Could be that this summer we're allowed out of Ireland but can't go to France. 

I can just see Barfleur spending a bit longer up the canal - again, along with a load more timetable changes for those who are in service if this is the case.  Doesn’t look good.

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1 hour ago, BigDW1946 said:

Getting more and more worried about situation in France which had more than 30,000 new cases today. The trend is slowly rising. Has Macron got a real grip on this. Could be that this summer we're allowed out of Ireland but can't go to France. 

Take a look at this impartial website. You need to look at the rolling average. If the number was that high yesterday it might be a blip or delayed reporting from the day before. 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://covidtracker.fr/&ved=2ahUKEwiBoquI4KfvAhUT3IUKHTZ5DTAQFnoECBcQAg&usg=AOvVaw3mO_zM8I7NR0AfOVaCzVjQ

Ed

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