Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

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Straycat_67
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Straycat_67 » Sun May 17, 2020 8:02 pm

Kilkis wrote:
Maud wrote:... Children in Denmark who are back at school are 7 years old, and more able to understand the situation. In the U.K. the Government is sending 4 and 5 year olds back to school...


I had a conversation with my son about a week ago, Maud. I said I thought it would be better for sixth formers to go back first. They are more or less adults and much better able to understand the need for social distancing. I went on to say that 4 and 5 year olds are irresistibly attracted to each other and cannot resist rolling about and touching each other. He pointed out that sixth formers are also irresistibly attracted to each other and cannot resist rolling about and touching each other but for very different reasons. I think I must be getting old.

I am glad you think the UK is doing well, Straycat-67, because the rest of the world thinks that the UK and the USA are a complete joke. Forget the R number. The UK is currently getting well over 3,000 cases per day. South Korea went from zero cases to 20 cases per day for several days. They believe the up-tick was caused by either 1 or possibly 2 or 3 active cases circulating in the community. In order to contain that increase of 20 cases per day within 2 to 3 days they traced, tested and where necessary isolated 10,000 individuals. How many individuals do you need to trace test and isolate every day if you have over 3,000 new cases per day? Do you believe the UK has the capability to do that? I don't know of any country that has relaxed social distancing at all while they were still running at over 3,000 cases per day.

Warwick


I am by no means suggesting the UK had done or is doing things right, I am only suggesting we are now on the right path (fingers crossed).

We have hardly relaxed anything here, no where near what you might think. Only essential shops (supermarkets, garages, pharmacies etc...) still open, yes we can go out for more exercise and short drives but in general lockdown still more or less exists here.

I agree with you about the track and trace with regard the 3,000 plus case per day, this needs to come down to 1,000 max IMHO.

But as mentioned earlier or testing has gone up 5 fold but cases are stable if not falling from a month ago, so there is obviously a positive correlation with you look at percentages of testing to positive cases. Let's be honest, of all the countries pulling 0-50 positive case per day, how many tests are being carried out per capita??

I'm not here to debate whose done what right or wrong, I was more here to suggest I hope to get out of the UK and back to my home in Athens ASAP, safely, securely etc.....and I only hope that within a month from now I can do so.

Kilkis
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Kilkis » Sun May 17, 2020 9:07 pm

Straycat_67 wrote:...We have hardly relaxed anything here, no where near what you might think. Only essential shops (supermarkets, garages, pharmacies etc...) still open, yes we can go out for more exercise and short drives but in general lockdown still more or less exists here...


In general I agree that the UK has not done any major relaxation yet except for one quite critical thing. The PM's Sunday broadcast that if you can't work from home then you should go back to work, initially the following day and then revised to Wednesday after many people had already gone back. I think to issue that instruction with virtually no notice, no preparation and no ramp up in public transport, a high level of new cases per day and test, trace and isolate still in preparation was highly dangerous. The other relaxations on exercise etc were just window dressing to make it appear that things were getting better. Scientifically they knew they couldn't relax but politically they couldn't afford not to relax so they had a pretend relax.

Schools are a very difficult issue. We know that children catch COVID-19. We know that in the vast majority of cases they are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms so opening schools is not a threat to most children. There is evidence that a minority develop advanced symptoms like adults and can die. There is also evidence that a minority develop an extreme generalised inflammatory immune response about 3 to 4 weeks after catching COVID-19 and some of them can also die of that. Should the risk to that very small minority stop schools opening?

We know that colds and flu predominantly spread in exactly the same way as COVID-19, i.e. virus containing droplets expressed onto surfaces and then transferred by touch. We know that, for colds and flu, school age children are the overwhelmingly most important vector in spreading the disease. In the case of COVID-19 there are very mixed opinions. Some studies suggest that children are not a significant vector when it comes to spreading COVID-19 and others suggest that they are important. If it turns out that the former studies are correct then opening schools should not be a problem but if the latter studies prove to be correct then it could be a catastrophe. Opening schools soon is a simple gamble that the former studies will turn out correct because opening schools is imprtant to get peopel back to work.

What about Health and Safety of teachers? Many will be young and fit so even if they catch it from children it shouldn't be too bad in the vast majority of cases. However some will be older, some will be obese, some will have diabetes etc. Since these are known high risk factors, would an authority that insisted on such teachers going back to work leave itself open to being sued if any died from COVID-19? What if a not-at-risk teacher caught COVID-19 from a child, took it back to their home and someone vulnerable in their home caught it and died. Would the school have any responsibility? These are not hypothetical questions. I know people in exactly these situations. If you were a teacher who has a spouse with an extremely suppressed immune system would you want to go back into a classroom?

The government is in a trap but it is one of its own making. If it keeps lockdown going much longer the economic consequences are going to be catastrophic. If it relaxes too soon before it gets the daily infection rate down further there will be a second wave. There is only one solution to this dichotomy. Test, trace and isolate must be at least as effective as lockdown in stopping the spread.

Warwick

Guy M
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Guy M » Mon May 18, 2020 8:52 am

Straycat_67 wrote:
We have hardly relaxed anything here, no where near what you might think. Only essential shops (supermarkets, garages, pharmacies etc...) still open, yes we can go out for more exercise and short drives but in general lockdown still more or less exists here.
.


So all those pictures of people on packed underground trains are fake news, right? And the prime minister didn’t go on tv a week ago to say if you can’t work at home you should be going back to work, and building sites and manufacturing haven’t reopened?

Greece had a strict lockdown early on with people having to get text message approval for trips outside the home for one of only four reasons, and 14 day quarantines for all arrivals before closure of airports. Britain locked down late and half-heartedly. I live in the centre of town when in the U.K. (where I am now) and people are out every day without a permit; meanwhile airports are still open - my brother came back from Singapore on Friday with no checks at all at Heathrow. Britain has the highest number of deaths in Europe and is in the top 4 in the World in excess deaths according to the FT - why? Because there hasn’t been a proper lockdown.

Kilkis
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Kilkis » Mon May 18, 2020 9:43 am

The Greek government is due to reveal this week what its plans for tourism this summer are so we should know soon. A couple of statements from a Crete Tip entry on Friday:

    The requirement of a max. 72 hours old corona test for anyone wishes to holiday in Greece from July 1st is not excluded.
    Flights to and from the UK will probably be banned.

So the "test within 72 hours" requirement is not yet a certainty but it looks likely that the UK will be excluded from the travel plans at least for the time being.

Warwick

Rick
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Rick » Mon May 18, 2020 11:11 am

If Greece does “ban” travel to and from the UK July onwards, I envisage this will be welcome news to those Britons with holidays booked to Greece, as they will then be entitled to refunds / credit vouchers. Who would even want to take a holiday to Greece for a week or two this summer? The exception being people with second homes who can stay for a few months, and be prepared to lock down there if necessary.

That said, Ryanair and EasyJet plan to be fully operational from 1st July, flying to all the usual Greek airports (including Heraklion and Xania)

The following air travel protocol appeared in Keep a Talking Greece:

Air travel
Boarding is done in small groups to avoid overcrowding.
Where there are boarding bridges, boarding is done only from the front door.
Where possible, passengers are transported from the waiting room to the aircraft on foot.
Where a bus is used, the limit of 50% of its capacity is observed.
Water, antiseptic and snack packages are placed at the entrance of the aircraft or at the boarding gate so that passengers can pick them up without the intervention of a third party.
Immediately upon arrival at the airport, the aircraft must be cleaned in a cabin with an enhanced antiseptic program, before being delivered to continue its flights.

Jean
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Jean » Mon May 18, 2020 11:23 am

Who would even want to take a holiday to Greece for a week or two this summer?

What a strange statement! As far as i can see there are loads of people who'd really love to come to Greece this summer if they are allowed to.

Rick
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Rick » Mon May 18, 2020 11:31 am

Of course people would love to visit Greece for a holiday this summer, but the stress and worry of air travel right now is a major deterrent.

Jean
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Jean » Mon May 18, 2020 11:46 am

Of course people would love to visit Greece for a holiday this summer, but the stress and worry of air travel right now is a major deterrent.

That's a very different way of putting it. I can see that as of now many people who are not deterred by it and will come of they can.

Kilkis
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Kilkis » Mon May 18, 2020 12:27 pm

Ryanair plan to fly about 40 % of their normal schedule from 1 July, Rick, so I wouldn't describe that as "fully operational". Also that is subject to travel restrictions being lifted and health checks being implemented at airports. I think the Daily Mirror reported that "easyJet says it intends for holidays in June, July and August to go ahead" but I haven't seen any official announcement. I suspect that they don't want to say that they are not going ahead as that might count as a cancellation and lead to refund demands. I think most airlines are cancelling flights 7 days in advance on a rolling programme so in principle we only know what is happening up to 7 days ahead.

I'm not a particularly risk averse person, Jean. For example I still ride a 600cc motorbike. Since I effectively retired in 2006 the only time I have caught anything like a cold or flu is when I have flown and I have pretty much caught something every time I have flown since then. At 74, obese, with moderate hypertension and not brilliant lungs I think there is a high probability that I would be in the group nobody wants to be in if I did catch COVID-19. I am booked to fly to Bordeaux in the second half of August but at this moment I am not totally sure I would go even if restrictions are lifted. I would not feel at risk once I got there but flying still strikes me as iffy. You are probably right that many would be happy to fly if they could but many wouldn't.

Warwick

Rick
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Rick » Mon May 18, 2020 12:59 pm

I concede that Ryanair isn’t fully operational (at least to Xania).

Schedule from 1st July:
Stanstead reduced from 4 flights to 2 flights per week
Manchester. reduced from 3 flights to 2 flights per week
Birmingham full capacity - 2 flights per week
East Mids. full capacity - 1 flight per week
Bristol. full capacity - 2 flights per week

Kilkis
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Kilkis » Mon May 18, 2020 1:51 pm

I assume the 40 % is averaged across all flights. The biggest changes will be on routes where there are lots of flights. Obviously it is pretty difficult to fly a 40 % service if you normally only have 1 flight per week. It will be interesting to see if he can achieve a commercially viable seat occupancy ratio and what he will do if he can't? Also it is not clear if Greece will accept flights from the UK. The Commission wants to see the Schengen area open up as much and as quickly as possible. That requires an agreement across all Schengen countries. At the moment the negotiations seem to be mostly bilateral so it is not clear where it will go.

Warwick

Clio
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Clio » Mon May 18, 2020 4:12 pm


Maud
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Maud » Mon May 18, 2020 5:01 pm

[quote="Guy M"][quote="Straycat_67"]

We have hardly relaxed anything here, no where near what you might think. Only essential shops (supermarkets, garages, pharmacies etc...) still open, yes we can go out for more exercise and short drives but in general lockdown still more or less exists here.
.[/quote]

So all those pictures of people on packed underground trains are fake news, right? And the prime minister didn’t go on tv a week ago to say if you can’t work at home you should be going back to work, and building sites and manufacturing haven’t reopened?

Greece had a strict lockdown early on with people having to get text message approval for trips outside the home for one of only four reasons, and 14 day quarantines for all arrivals before closure of airports. Britain locked down late and half-heartedly. I live in the centre of town when in the U.K. (where I am now) and people are out every day without a permit; meanwhile airports are still open - my brother came back from Singapore on Friday with no checks at all at Heathrow. Britain has the highest number of deaths in Europe and is in the top 4 in the World in excess deaths according to the FT - why? Because there hasn’t been a proper lockdown.[/quote]

Absolutely agree Guy. Homeware shops have remained open, - even cycle shops! Garden centres are now open and people are allowed to travel the length and breadth of England, as long as they don’t stay away from home overnight! I saw an article last week about how many fines had been handed out by the police, even though they have tried only to give advice and not fine people. - One person was described as a ‘serial offender’ and been fined 9 times.....and that was just when they had caught him!

Greece has had the right approach. For those of us stuck in the U.K. (we should be in Greece now), all we can do is admire how the situation has been handled there.

Rick
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Rick » Mon May 18, 2020 7:36 pm

Active discussions are going on over what countries could be exempted from the quarantine regime on return to the U.K. in future, and Greece could be classed as being exempt due to the low infection rate. This could generate more interest in Britons taking holidays to Greece if they are willing to take the risks involved with air travel ?

Source:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... -plan.html

Kilkis
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Re: Britons urged to travel to Greece this summer

Postby Kilkis » Mon May 18, 2020 11:48 pm

...and if Greece is willing to accept visitors from a country that does not have a low rate of infection? It's a two way street, Rick. The UK government are talking as though the UK is doing wonderfully and so they will decide who is doing as well as them and let them in. Perhaps just a tad arrogant?

O'Leary is doing what you would expect him to do, i.e. rubbishing any action that will adversely affect his airline's ability to fly, like 14 day quarantine, and supporting any action that is cheap and easy to implement that will allow his airline to fly, like wearing masks. He has a point about 14 day quarantine but he is also being economical with the truth. When the UK reaches a very low infection rate among the community then quarantining visitors from any region where the infection rate is higher than the UK makes perfect scientific sense. Where he has a point is that allowing them to leave the airport on mass public transport, mingling with thousands of the local population, in order to get to their quarantine location is stupid. It's not as astronomically stupid as not closing the border early in the outbreak when there was little infection in the community but up there with the best.

Warwick

PS There is a lot of information on excess mortality on the EuroMOMO web site and in this VOXEU article, which uses data from EuroMOMO and other sources. The EuroMOMO site does not present direct excess mortality, because they are not allowed to, but a Z-Score which is derived from the excess mortality but normalised to the standard deviation of the data. It does present the standard range for each country so by looking at how far the actual Z-Score goes outside the normal range gives you a comparative measure of excess mortality between countries. Simple interpretation: big Z bad small Z good.


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