Flying Crete - UK

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Guy M
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Re: Flying Crete - UK

Postby Guy M » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:54 am

Maud wrote:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/02/race-to-track-200-people-on-flight-after-officials-fail-to-tell-airline-of-covid-cases?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Seems things are spreading?


Yes, I posted that on another thread. This will end the Greek tourist season (from the U.K. at least). Arrivals from Greece will likely be subject to the same quarantine rules as Spain etc. And yet there is at least a possibility that these people got infected because they were partying with other tourists in Crete. The real problem highlighted in this article is the UK’s inability to track and trace arrivals due to the slackness of procedures on arrival in the U.K. Greece is the one who suffers as a result.

bobscott
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Re: Flying Crete - UK

Postby bobscott » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:11 pm

I thought I read in the UK press this morning that ENGLAND has thus far decided not to follow either Scotland or Wales by adding Greece to the list of countries, returning from which one needs to quarantine? Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
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Re: Flying Crete - UK

Postby Kilkis » Thu Sep 03, 2020 1:56 pm

The UK as a whole is nominally using a threshold of 20 infections per 100,000 population in the last 7 days as a benchmark to decide whether to remove a country from the exempted list. They also take into account other factors such as whether case numbers are rising or falling, number of deaths, testing regime etc. As far as I know Greece has not exceeded that figure so Greece has not been removed from the exempted list. If you look at the 14 day figures published by ECDC the UK is at 24.1 while Greece is at 26.5 so not a big difference. Portugal are at 34.5 on 14 day figures and they haven't been removed yet although it is under consideration. That gives you a rough idea of where Greece stands.

Scotland and Wales are also taking decisions based on specific incidents, in this case local outbreaks which traced back to specific flights from Greece. In the case of Scotland they have applied the rule to the whole of Greece while in Wales to a specific island. Whether UK tourists planning to come to Greece in September and October will appreciate that nuance is debatable so how many the Scottish and Welsh decisions will deter from coming is unknown.

The sharp rapid rise that started in Greece in mid July and continued until mid August seems to have flattened off quite a bit in the last two weeks. Whether that flattening will continue or turn into a fall is anybody's guess. Most Greeks will have gone home from holiday so that should tend to reduce the spread but schools are going back on 14 September and my gut feeling is that it will cause a rise. How big I have no idea. An expert from Sage was asked about UK schools going back on Sky News two days ago. Her reply was that the virus spreads wherever people gather and mingle together and schools fit that description. She also said the key to limiting the spread was test-trace-isolate and the UK system was not yet good enough. I am pretty sure the same can be said about the Greek system.

Warwick

PS People like Matt Hancock bandy about tons of figures to prove that test-trace-isolate is a success. The purpose of test-trace-isolate is to reduce the spread. If the spread is increasing then by definition test-trace-isolate is not working. The percentage of people traced is irrelevant if it doesn't reduce the spread.

john4d
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Re: Flying Crete - UK

Postby john4d » Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:39 pm

Crete is an island, Great Britain is an island, but England is not an island. It shares uncontrolled land borders with Wales and Scotland. How are these two countries going to prevent their residents from travelling to English Airports and flying from there? I'm sure Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol airports would welcome the business. Would it be legal for them to access the passport data scanned at the airport, or the travel insurance data, or the credit/debit card data?

So is this a serious measure or just tokenism?
There's no such thing as a bad taste joke

Kilkis
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Re: Flying Crete - UK

Postby Kilkis » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:11 pm

There is no real enforcement of the whole quarantine process, John, so I don't see why people would go to the trouble of travelling to another airport. There is no actual quarantine, just self isolation. Basically people are told that it would be awfully spiffing if they were really nice and didn't go out for 14 days. If you want to break the rules just ignore the request and go out. No need to travel by a circuitous route. I'm not even sure that people are told directly? It's just a sort of an idea floating about in the aether for you to absorb by osmosis. There is a rule to socially distance but a significant percentage of people ignore it. There is a rule to wear a mask in public spaces but a significant percentage of people ignore it. Why does anybody imagine that a rule to self isolate would be any different?

There was real quarantine at the start of the pandemic when UK citizens were being repatriated from situations with high infection rates. They were met directly from the plane by people in full hazmat gear and taken to their own room in a guarded hotel that they couldn't leave, or mix with other travellers, for 14 days. That is quarantine, what happens today is not. China had quarantine when the outbreak occurred in Wuhan. If anybody was seen outside their apartment they were ordered to return to it. If they were seen outside more than once they were put back in their apartment and a metal grill was welded across the door.

I don't use Facebook or Instagram but I know people who do. I know of several instances of people coming to Crete from countries where self isolation is required here and posting pictures of themselves in cafés and tavernas, sitting with people who live here, in groups larger than allowed, in much less than the self isolation period. I think the shortest was 30 minutes of arriving at their destination.

Warwick

Keltz
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Re: Flying Crete - UK

Postby Keltz » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:58 pm

john4d wrote:England is not an island. It shares uncontrolled land borders with Wales and Scotland. How are these two countries going to prevent their residents from travelling to English Airports and flying from there?


Border control is a Westminster reserved power they did not use to limit flights from high risk countries into Heathrow where there were no virus checks. Scotland and Wales have no powers to close the border as seen early on in the pandemic when camper vans and Prince Charles saw fit to drive to rural areas in Scotland away from the hotspots at that time in England potentially putting strain on rural Scottish NHS when capacity to deal with the epidemic was at risk.

Guy M
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Flying Crete - UK

Postby Guy M » Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:43 pm

Wales has taken a decision.

Coronavirus: Six Greek islands added to Welsh quarantine list https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-53990093

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Flying Crete - UK

Postby Kilkis » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:21 pm

...including Crete.

As Keltz says the devolved governments have no power over who can come into the country or which countries are on the FCO exempted list and which aren't. Public health is a devolved power, however, so they can impose self isolation rules on anybody they choose as a public health issue.

Warwick


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