Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Kilkis
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Kilkis » Fri May 22, 2020 9:51 am

The written part to the right of the video does say:

    Greece's tourist season begins in June, with international charter flights to popular locations resuming in July, according to the country's prime minster.

    But how easy will it be for tourists to enter Greece for their holidays? The BBC's Quentin Sommerville arrived in Athens airport to see how things are working at the moment.

So it is pretty clear that the people arriving in the report are not tourists, since it is not June yet, and what is shown is what is happening now. I agree that the statement "But how easy will it be for tourists to enter Greece for their holidays?" could be misleading, i.e. it sort of implies that it won't be easy, but the video report makes it clear that the rules are "about to change".

Warwick

YoMo2
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby YoMo2 » Fri May 22, 2020 11:27 am

Kilkis wrote:I didn't see any ranting nor do I see how it is in anyway misleading.........


Warwick, I know you have form for being a bit of a contrarian, but seriously? The report is posted one day after a Greek government decision that would have produced a completely different report had the BBC taken any notice of it. You think that is reasonable reporting? You must be joking.

Andrew

bobscott
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby bobscott » Fri May 22, 2020 11:49 am

Forsto wrote:I think it should have been pointed out that the people arriving in the report at Athens airport were not coming for a holiday. They would have and still will until the 30th of May required an excellent reason for their travel. Friends who have a house here in Greece arrived last Friday via Zürich and were only allowed into Greece on production of various documents showing their reason for travel. Although they tested negative for the virus, they have another nine days of quarantine to complete before they can leave their house.


Quite right too! Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Kilkis » Fri May 22, 2020 12:55 pm

Well everybody sees reports how they see them. You clearly saw it as some sort of anti-Greek message along the lines of, "Look how horrible it is going to be if you come to Greece". I didn't see it that way at all. I saw a report showing a very organised system, testing all arrivals in a matter of minutes and providing them with rather nice hotel accommodation while they waited up to 2 days for the results, i.e. "See, having screening at the airport isn't that bad". I saw it more as a message back to the UK along the lines of, "Look, this is what you effing idiots should be doing". I still cannot see any evidence whatsoever of a rant. It was perfectly calm and factual.

Warwick

Maud
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Maud » Fri May 22, 2020 5:15 pm

I have to say that I saw the report as being about how well Greece has handled the situation. It showed how efficient they were in testing and isolation until the tests come back clear. I am not a fan of O’Leary in the least but today he made a very good point on the BBC. He said that when travellers arrive at Heathrow and London they will be told to go in to quarantine for two weeks at wherever they are staying. By then they will have travelled on the Gatwick Express and other public transport and spread the virus all over the country! - He called the idea “Bonkers”. Sadly......I have to agree with him! Greece managed to get it right, and I am glad it was so clearly demonstrated by Quentin Somerville.

There is plenty of other information on tv, and in the press, about Greece opening up its holiday accommodation and taverna’s from the 15th July by the way. If people are interested in visiting Greece for a holiday, I am sure they will be looking up such advice.

I am also of the opinion that the U.K. Government wants residents to spend their money In the U.K. this year. - ‘Staycations‘ is the ‘in word.’ - Don’t expect them to be making it easy for people to holiday abroad.....and don’t blame the BBC and press for that!

Kilkis
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Kilkis » Fri May 22, 2020 6:04 pm

I agree with you, Maud, that O'Leary's comments about how the quarantine is being done are completely correct. The science of using quarantine to stop cases coming in from outside is good science but the way it is implemented in the UK is completely useless. I don't think his solution of not doing it at all is the correct solution. The correct solution is to do it properly. If they had done it on 25 January, starting with China and gradually expanding to other countries as they reported cases, there would have been virtually zero deaths in the UK.

Taiwan, with a population of almost 24 million and about as close to China as you can get, took measures early on, including inspecting plane passengers coming from Wuhan starting 31 December, banning Wuhan residents from entering Taiwan on 23 January, suspending tours to China on 25 January and eventually banning all Chinese visitors on 6 February. So far it has had 600 cases and 7 deaths. That could have been the UK. I think that proves that the science does work provided it is done right. Boris was too busy planning Brexit celebrations to worry about a deadly disease.

There is also an interactive time-line of the steps South Korea took on this web page. One interesting point is that they had a test that could return results in 6 hours on 31 January and it was already rolled out by 7 February. In the UK over 3 months later 50 % of tests produce results within 24 hours and most of the rest within 48 hours but some are taking 5 to 10 days. Of all the people who catch the disease about 50 % are already infectious but asymptomatic by day 3. That does not bode well for test trace and isolate being effective without the App.

I saw a very simple illustration why test, trace and isolate is not really effective without the contact tracing App. John gets up and has breakfast with the person he shares a house with. He sets off for work and buys a coffee from a takeaway coffee shop. While queuing he has a ten minute conversation with the person next to him in the queue who is a stranger to him. He then gets on a bus which is quite full so people cannot socially distance and hardly anybody is wearing masks. Later that day he develops COVID-19 symptoms. The next day he gets tested and two days later he gets a positive result. Obviously tracing the person he shares a house with is straightforward. Tracing the person he talked to in the coffee queue might be possible without the App but would take quite a lot of effort and wouldn't always work. Tracing the people he was on the bus with would be extremely difficult/impossible without the App. He probably became infectious 2 to 3 days before he developed symptoms so back tracing 3 days would be needed. This is only three events in his busy day. Currently over 2,000 John's every day.

Warwick

Jean
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Jean » Fri May 22, 2020 7:19 pm

Can anyone explain to me why Britain would introduce a compulsory quarantine now (well, in two weeks' time) instead of having done so months ago? Is there a logical explanation (in terms of managing Covid-19)? Or is it just done just to prevent Brits from travelling abroad and get them to spend their holiday money in Britain?

Clio
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Clio » Fri May 22, 2020 8:16 pm

That's one theory being touted Jean, but I think the truth is, it's just another example of the criminal incompetence with which the crisis is being handled by the British government, Every measure they take is being taken far too late, and they are killing people as a result. The belated lockdown was another example. An expert epidemiologist giving evidence this morning to a parliamentary committee (under oath) said that if the country had gone into lockdown two weeks earlier, literally thousands of lives could have been saved. Thousands?

This afternoon our disgrace of a Home Secretary, explaining the new quarantine rules, was sanctimoniously claiming they were brought in "to save lives", A TV reporter asked her the same question you posed: in that case why can't the lifesaving start immediately, instead of in 17 days' time. I wish I could give you her verbatim response: she managed to talk for several minutes without coming anywhere near answering the question. In this she is taking lessons from our Prime Minister, whose habit it is to simply ignore a question, wave his arms and trumpet about how well Britain is doing.

Sorry, I didn't mean to go on, especially as when I lived in Crete I was the first to complain about this forum being hijacked for Anglocentric topics. But I honestly feel the world needs to know as much as possible about what is happening in Britain. Specially, in England. If you can find it on the internet, the speech made yesterday by Nicola Sturgeon the First Minister of the devolved Scottish Parliament, outlining her s plans for the next stage of tackling the virus, is a shining example of responsible, grown-up government.

Jean
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Jean » Fri May 22, 2020 8:37 pm

when I lived in Crete I was the first to complain about this forum being hijacked for Anglocentric topics

My question was specifically about Britain though and you're replying to it.
It's just that seen from here this is frankly puzzling. I mean, I can't even see it as incompetence, it just doesn't make sense.

Maud
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Maud » Fri May 22, 2020 9:04 pm

Like Clio, I also watched Patel dodge the question about why compulsory quarantine isn’t being imposed immediately. Surely the two of us cannot be the only people who realise the Government ignores every question it doesn’t like?

My previous post mentioned ‘staycations’ Jean, and how my suspicion is that the Government wants UK residents to spend their money at home. I agree with Clio that all we are seeing is criminal incompetence as to how this whole matter is being handled. I am ashamed to be British these days, as we are a laughing stock in the worlds press. My saving grace is that I am Welsh, and although Mark Drakeford is not such an outstanding leader as Nicola Sturgeon, he is a lot better than Johnson. - Come to that, I think our cat makes better decisions than Johnson and his cronies!

Kilkis
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Kilkis » Fri May 22, 2020 10:48 pm

I doubt if the present UK government is capable of putting together a plan to convince people to stay in the UK and spend money there. As always choose the cock-up theory not the conspiracy theory.

The main thing throughout the crisis is that they ignored the most experienced person in the world, Dr Mike Ryan, and tried to do everything "at the right time". Dr Jonathan van Tam indirectly admitted it when he was answering a question about why anosmia was only included very recently as a symptom. He said that they spent a long time weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of including it. In reality if you think of anything that might help you should just do it yesterday and worry about whether the timing was right later.

At the very beginning of the outbreak they weren't thinking about it at all. It was just something happening a long way away in strange foreign lands. Nothing to do with the UK. A bit later, but still near the beginning of the outbreak, when some sort of border control would still have been very, very effective, e.g. quarantine, they were working on the flu epidemic hypothesis, i.e. just let it run through the population and let everybody get immune. They now deny that was ever the policy but it is clear from early statements that it was. By the time they awoke to the consequences of following that path the virus was already spreading widely within the community so they argued, probably more or less correctly, that stopping a few cases coming in from outside would have little effect compared to the internal spread. When questioned now why they didn't act sooner they simply refer back to that period and completely ignore the two earlier periods when it would have worked.

Incidentally the government recently did some work to try to assess how many people have actually contracted COVID-19. They concluded that it was probably about 17 % of the population of London and about 5 % of the rest of the population. That should average out to less than 10 % of the total population. Given that there is now over 55,000 excess deaths for a total infection of less than 10 % of the population, the much criticised Imperial College predictions of what would happen if everybody was allowed to get it don't look so stupid, especially with the data they had to work with at the time.

It doesn't matter what measure you use to do comparisons, every country that took rapid decisive action did quite well and every country that didn't suffered badly. The decisive action varied considerably from country to country and there is a spread in how well and how badly the different groups performed but the common factor between the good group and the bad group is speed of action exactly as Mike Ryan predicted. It is no accident that Asian countries that previously experienced SARS-CoV-1 reacted most quickly and countries that didn't reacted more slowly.

Warwick

Clio
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Clio » Sat May 23, 2020 1:52 am

As always choose the cock-up theory not the conspiracy theory.


It is always possible that it is both. That alongside the mind-boggling, widespread and repetitive incompetence, there is a nasty little undercover scheme to take another tack.
Early on in the crisis the government talked about trying the technique of non-containment called herd immunity, whereby you let the disease run unchecked through the population so lots die but you get survival of the now-immune fittest. (If I haven’t explained that correctly I am sure Warwick will elucidate).
This went down very badly with the public when the penny dropped that this unpleasant-sounding concept was probably going to result in the sacrifice of many of the nation’s grandparents. So unpopular was the idea that the government immediately insisted that they had never even considered it.
There is now a body of opinion that holds to the conspiracy theory. Quite a lot of people believe that instances of apparently inexplicable bungling - like the letting in of all those unchecked airport arrivals ; the decision, to be reversed much later, to stop testing before it had even got going and, more recently, the reopening of schools without the promised safeguards in place – point to an attempt effectively to operate herd immunity by the back door.
I also know people who claim that the focus on the virus catastrophe is a useful diversionary tactic for slipping in a hard Brexit. Planned or not, that could indeed come to pass. We shan’t know for sure until the inevitable public enquiry which, although many are demanding it now, is probably a long way off.
I have spent a large part of lockdown studying the subject of Covid 19 in Britain, with as open a mind as possible. I reckon I know as much about it as any educated and interested person, if not more, but I honestly don’t think anyone can say for certain “cock-up” or ‘conspiracy”.
What I do know if that if Coronavirus is an act of God, then human actions and/or inaction have compounded its effects most terribly on the poor bloody British public.

bobscott
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby bobscott » Sat May 23, 2020 8:25 am

No Maud and Jean. You are not the only two!
It is one almighty cock-up. In the last two days I have heard Government Officials (Ms Patel being the latest yesterday) claim that they were told by the scientists that the impact of preventing people from coming into the country freely (i.e. imposing quarantine on them) would have been 'fairly insignificant' early on, but that now the R number is down to 1 or below, it is the right time to introduce
the measure.

'Insignificant' I assume because 'what's another (say) couple of thousand when we are already have fifty-thousand cases?' The fact that it would have been highly significant to the 2000 (or whatever the numbers would be) be isn't considered.

Had the quarantine been in place at the start of the epidemic in the UK, would we still have had a quarter of a million people infected by now? Would we have had more than 40,000 deaths?

So like you, I am left wondering why it is being done so late, and in particular, why announce on 22nd May that it will begin on 8 June? What the hell is the justification for that delay?

The whole affair is a monumental cock-up with absolutely tragic consequences. Stand by for lots more cover-ups and lies from a team of pathological liars. Including the hot-potato today of Dominic Cummings. In the meantime, our children and grand children are being used as expendable counters in a game of tiddly-winks played by sight-impaired leaders.

Bob
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Kilkis » Sat May 23, 2020 8:59 am

Perfectly good explanation of herd immunity, Clio.

If people are interested there is an additional technical bit to it. Every disease has a natural R0, which is the number of people somebody with the disease infects at the start of an epidemic when nobody has immunity. R is the same parameter later in the spread of the disease when a percentage of the population already have immunity, either by immunisation or by contracting the disease. R will decrease as more people contract the disease simply because, at the beginning everybody an infected person meets will be susceptible while later more and more people he meets will have already had the disease and have immunity*. Herd immunity is the critical percentage of the population you need to have immunity at the start of an outbreak for R never to exceed 1, i.e. the disease will not exponentially grow but will die away. Typically it is calculated as

    Pc = 100 * (1 - 1/R0)
The percentage varies depending on R0. If R0 is big, e.g. like measles between 12 and 18, you need a very large percentage of the population to have immunity in order to get herd immunity, e.g. around 95 %. That is why the anti-vaccine movement even convincing a relatively small number of people not to get vaccinated is so dangerous for the spread of measles. If R0 is small, e.g. around 3 for SARS-CoV-2, then you need a much smaller percentage to get herd immunity, e.g around 66 %.

The R being quoted at the moment is an artificially low value due to intervention to isolate people from each other and stop the virus spreading. With a suspected low number of people currently believed to have had the virus, if controls were to be removed completely R would return to somewhere near R0, e.g. perhaps 2.

Warwick

* There is still some uncertainty about whether people who have had the disease do develop immunity or how long it lasts.

Kilkis
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Re: Anyone wanting/needing to travel by air to Greece/Crete now.

Postby Kilkis » Sat May 23, 2020 9:56 am

An interesting BBC News article on contact tracing. It deals with the John Hopkins training course but raises lots of issues. I love the last section on "How does it compare with the UK?". Is it just me or does anybody else detect just the slightest whiff of, "Look we're British and we know more than anybody else in the world so we are going to do it our way and we have no interest whatsoever in learning from what somebody else is doing" that has permeated the whole crisis?

Warwick


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