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Travel insurance seems to be such a minefield.  We have enhanced Covid cover on our Holidaysafe policy but the current position which I've just checked online is "Following the UK Governments announcements relating to both national and international travel advice, we will be unable to provide cover for any trips which you intend to take during a period of time where the Government advice is that all but essential travel is restricted."

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Apparently the WHO has decided to change the way it refers to new variants of Covid-19 by giving them a letter of the Greek alphabet. Hence the UK (Kent) strain is Alpha, the South African strain is B

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Depends how you look at it. If you don't have the infection the LFT test is 99.68% accurate. If you do and you have a high viral load the LFT test is 95% accurate. There's no such thing as PCR te

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14 minutes ago, Angel said:

Travel insurance seems to be such a minefield

Totally, they all have different rules, it is important that we never assume that something is covered before checking it !

It is a bit better now the health card exists

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3 hours ago, David Williams said:

Not good, our rate per 100,000 is growing exponentially and our main variant is the Indian one which the Europeans do not want more of.

Exponentially? No it isn't. There are three hotspots which all are very closely knit along a specific commuter corridor, the numbers aren't increasing "exponentially" in Manchester, Preston or Bury. The two cities and a town which also form part of said corridor. That's very informative.

A point of note is the other areas which have seen Delta take a strong grip. They haven't even made the news. Blackpool, York, Southend, Thurrock, Bristol, North Somerset & Bath & North East Somerset.

We've officially had Delta since the beginning of April... two months, during the same period of time Alpha put 43,000 in hospital and nearly 5,000 of those in ICU beds.

The vaccines are proven, they stop severe illness and there is no steep upward curve in hospitalisations. They're not designed to stop infection regardless of whether you get the jab in Poole, Paris or Peking they're designed to keep Healthcare systems functioning. You'll still catch Covid but it'll be mild and be treated by normal cold remedies at home... It's a Coronavirus not an Influenza nor is it a bacterial strain such as TB.

Many lose sight of that when inundated with headlines.

In terms of new strains and mutations Europe doesn't have a choice, none of us do. The simple undebatable fact of life is that mutating viruses can't be controlled. Alpha to hold in Europe even though at the time travel was far more restrictive than it is now. All you can do is lessen the severity.

... and therein lies the obstacle.

Europe is playing catch up. They're still on the back foot due to their problematic vaccination program and many nations continuing to persevere with giving everyone two jabs within a short time period rather than offering the majority a degree of protection in the first instance.

As an example, Germany doesn't expect to see a level of protection equal to what the U.K. has now until September.

I agree with giving everyone a reminder that Covid in many forms is around and always will be, lifestyles will change, vigilance is needed but this needs to be tempered with a macro rather than micro perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes it all depends on your Holiday. Our Hotels are pay on departure no fee if cancelled 48 hours before arrival so worst case if insurance does not pay up is about £250.00 loss. Ferry ticket is fully flex so again little loss.

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1 hour ago, Angel said:

It isn't just the testing and the quarantine we need to worry about.  For me, the big issue is that travelling when the FCDO advises against all but essential travel would invalidate our travel insurance.  I believe most policies have a similar clause, apart from expensive specialist poicies.

The issue is that the airlines don't give a crap, they just want our money. To happily fly thousands to Amber list countries when it's clearly stated that it's a high risk and against FCDO recommendations simply proves they're happy to put pounds before people.

If another strain is proven to have been transported by an asymptomatic traveller to any of these Amber destinations the airline is as much to blame and should be held accountable.

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23 minutes ago, jonno said:

I agree with giving everyone a reminder that Covid in many forms is around and always will be, lifestyles will change, vigilance is needed but this needs to be tempered with a macro rather than micro perspective.

FIne, however in the context of this thread, the issue was that France would not have us because of the Delta variant and rising rates. We have put Portugal onto Amber due to their rising rates and a new variant that had not been tested that we have as well !

This is all about travel and restrictions. Hopefully the new French rules next week should give us a small light at the end of the tunnel,

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5 minutes ago, David Williams said:

FIne, however in the context of this thread, the issue was that France would not have us because of the Delta variant and rising rates. We have put Portugal onto Amber due to their rising rates and a new variant that had not been tested that we have as well !

This is all about travel and restrictions. Hopefully the new French rules next week should give us a small light at the end of the tunnel,

France can say what it likes to save face, if not the Delta variant they'd come up with something else until they've vaccinated a high enough percentage of their population. I don't think they hit 20m 1st doses until the 15th May.

11.6m fully dosed adults up to last week. Consider that they started their vax program over 5 months ago and didn't buy into the 12 week separation between doses. They fiddled rather then call the Pompiers and now it's biting them.

It's all a political game which leaves a nasty aftertaste. Why else would they be talking about Australian travel when Melbourne is in a lockdown which has recently been extended?

France already has Delta and have done for two months.

Delta in it's three strains has been detected in 7 regions of Metropolitan France since April. They call them episodes which is a very broad term as an 'episode' can be a single infection or a thousand... they don't release specific figures.

Since the second week in May 'episodes' have increased  week on week with the strain in the U.K. also being dominant. There are now  infections with no direct contact from India.

Portuguese rates aren't rising, around 730 new cases a day is the same as it's been for weeks even before they were placed on the Green List. The issue is that some of these cases are showing evidence of a specific Nepalese mutation.

The people of Nepal have subtle DNA changes and adapted respiratory cilia in order to live at altitude. The U.K. simply want to investigate how this strain behaves in a thicker atmosphere with a higher oxygen level. A virus must have a flimsier cell structure and less rigid protein spikes to survive for long periods at altitude. Does it proliferate or does it struggle to spread?

I agree this is about travel and restrictions but you still need to get to the bottom of the how & why which isn't clearcut and isn't especially due to exponentially rising cases and a "not good" outlook for the U.K.

Everyone booking overseas travel are still on a hiding to nothing, it's not happening for the foreseeable and that simply needs to be excepted.

BF are laughing all the way to the bank earning interest on booking deposits for ferry services which may never come to fruition in 2021. Personally I think it's folly.

 

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30 minutes ago, jonno said:

a specific Nepalese mutation

You are bound to get a lot of peaks with this type of varient and you can blame both the Indians and Chinese, although this time exceptionally perhaps neither will want to claim ownership. 

Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy
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23 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

You are bound to get a lot of peaks with this type of varient and you can blame both the Indians and Chinese, although this time exceptionally perhaps neither will want to claim ownership. 

Ed

Ah yes the white peaks... that'll be Province 1 soon to known as the Merrang Province where they've been beating themselves and whisking away those who are infected.

They're knackered and are now calling Long Covid Ever rest. It's no yolk.

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Correct David the update allows vaccinated UK visitors in with a test before departure, no quarantine and no need to prove reason for travel.,

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3 minutes ago, colin said:

Correct David the update allows vaccinated UK visitors in with a test before departure, no quarantine and no need to prove reason for travel.,

Do you have a link and is the antigen test ok ?

Thanks

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2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

You are bound to get a lot of peaks with this type of varient and you can blame both the Indians and Chinese, although this time exceptionally perhaps neither will want to claim ownership. 

Lets blame the Cowboys and everyone will be happy.

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27 minutes ago, David Williams said:

Do you have a link and is the antigen test ok ?

Thanks

From the Gaurdian ...

The government has announced that it is removing the need for coronavirus tests for vaccinated Europeans and also allowing vaccinated tourists from most of the rest of the world, including the US, to visit, provided they have a negative test.

Associated Press report that the relaxed rules will kick in from Wednesday. Tourism will not be possible, however, from countries with virus surges and or prevalent variants. This “red list” for the moment has 16 countries, including India, South Africa and Brazil.

Outside of Europe, most of the rest of the world is classed as “orange” in the new travel rulebook released today.

Vaccinated visitors from “orange” countries — including the US and Britain — will no longer need to quarantine on arrival and will no longer have to justify the reasons for their trip to France. They will, however, still be asked for a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours or a negative antigenic test of no more than 48 hours.

Unvaccinated children will be allowed in with vaccinated adults.

European visitors and those from seven countries classed as “green” — Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore — will no longer need to undergo testing if they are vaccinated.

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There were 6,953 positive tests in France in the last 24 hours. The rolling average for 7 days is 8,674. It should have been lower but for a blip late last week with a sudden spike in southwestern France which now seems to have fizzled out.

If the trends continue on both sides of the channel, the UK and France are likely to reach parity sometime next week, just when France relaxes its holiday travel rules (9 June).

The only problem of course is that here it's the Kent variant which is dominant while with you it's the Indian one. Fingers crossed that both governments see sense and allow people to travel freely in both directions if vaccinated and with negative tests. 

The holiday market over here is getting very busy. Trying to find a house to rent for reasonable money in July or August is tricky in a lot of places but there are still spaces in campsites etc. 

Ed

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To be honest, I still believe it is premature for anyone to travel this Summer no matter what the data might suggest. Many countries are now entering the third wave of the pandemic and no one knows what virus variants may emerge that could potentially be vaccine resistant. I am really missing my trips back to France on Brittany Ferries - a country which I regard as  my second home. However, with the best will in the world, anyone going this Summer is taking a massive role of the dice and more likely than not, may encounter further changes to quarantine/testing rules etc that may prove costly. Whatever political games may be going on in different countries, it does not change the reality of a virus that we are still learning about. Be they ferry companies or airlines-all these businesses want to do is survive and now there is no question that they can only do so with extensive government funding. 

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2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

There were 6,953 positive tests in France in the last 24 hours. The rolling average for 7 days is 8,674. It should have been lower but for a blip late last week with a sudden spike in southwestern France which now seems to have fizzled out.

If the trends continue on both sides of the channel, the UK and France are likely to reach parity sometime next week, just when France relaxes its holiday travel rules (9 June).

The only problem of course is that here it's the Kent variant which is dominant while with you it's the Indian one. Fingers crossed that both governments see sense and allow people to travel freely in both directions if vaccinated and with negative tests. 

The holiday market over here is getting very busy. Trying to find a house to rent for reasonable money in July or August is tricky in a lot of places but there are still spaces in campsites etc. 

Ed

It is interesting to see the ONS figures for UK which are somewhat different from the official government ones. Suggests that between UK and France, numbers are similar, but on an upward curve in UK and downward in France. Still a fair way to go before we can relax and say this is over.

From the Gaurdian ...

The number of people infected with coronavirus in the UK has risen by as much as two-thirds, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says.

It estimates that around 100,000 people tested positive in the week to 29 May, or one in 660 people - up from 60,000 the previous week.

A growing proportion looked like they were the Delta variant, first detected in India, the ONS said.

Infections were rising most steeply in England and Wales.

A further 6,278 confirmed cases in the UK were announced by the government in official figures on Friday, with 954 people in hospital with Covid and 11 deaths recorded.

This equates to a large increase in cases from a low base, but hospital admissions and deaths are down slightly compared to last week.

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One thing that is hidden is the regional varriation in numbers, in the South West there were less than fives cases of Delta strain in each of the Council areas. It seems to be concentrated mostly in some cities in the North of England, the same as Portugal where they say Lisbon is bad but every where else is okay. Should we go back to regional tiers with a real effort to stop people travelling between?

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One thing that is hidden is the regional varriation in numbers

You can look at the infection variations by Council area using the tool on the BBC website. Rates here in Surrey have been pretty much staic at around 10/100,000 for some ime now and our local parish has reported 3 or less infections each week over the same period.

I think what we are seeing is the effect of delaying travel restrictions from India when it was obvious they would be needed as a result of which there was  surge of arrivals (reports of 42,000 since the situation there became of concern). Many of these people will have returned to multi generational households and it would appear that many of these did not or could not self isolate and went back to work. Probably only a tiny proportion were actually checked after arrival. All this in communities where the vaccine take up has been much lower than in the population at large. It is the Indian variant which is currently responsible for the rapid rise in infections at the moment and you don't have to guess where it came from!

These hot spots are fuelling the overall rise in infections and the vaccination programme has not yet reached the stage where it can suppress the increase which is why HMG is so concerned.

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47 minutes ago, VikingVoyager said:

Really?

Yes really. You can still be infected with Covid even after two doses. Their job is to stop the infection becoming serious requiring hospitalisation. That's the whole motivation, to keep hospital beds empty. The vaccines are doing that against the original and mutated secondary Kent variants and the Indian variant.

Why do think with the Indian variant we're seeing so few hospital cases?

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, VikingVoyager said:

Really?

No, their role is to stop people developing severe forms of the disease targeted and therefore clogging up the health system. 

They do however contribute to reducing the spread of infection between members of the population as the less infected you are, the less virus you secrete to infect others. 

Ed

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5 minutes ago, jonno said:

Yes really. You can still be infected with Covid even after two doses. Their job is to stop the infection becoming serious requiring hospitalisation. That's the whole motivation, to keep hospital beds empty. The vaccines are doing that against the original and mutated secondary Kent variants and the Indian variant.

Why do think with the Indian variant we're seeing so few hospital cases?

 

 

 

Yes, I know you can still get covid after vaccination. Yes, I know the aim is to keep people out of hospital.

It was my understanding that vaccines did this by stopping infection in many and reducing the symptoms in others.

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26.3 where we live down south Jonno. South Surrey is a different animal from the London side of the North Downs.

Our local postcode has been showing 3 actual cases or less for some weeks now.

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