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Quarantine Or Airport Testing?
September 5, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1384
Quarantine Or Airport Testing?

September 5, 2020

So here’s a discussion topic. Should we continue with quarantine measures for English tourists who visit countries that have higher than acceptable new Covid cases in any given period?

I say English rather than UK because all 4 constituent countries of the UK have devolved public health powers and can and do operate different quarantine and lockdown measures.

Currently English  folk visiting any of  the countries designated as ‘high risk’ face a 14 day quarantine on their return. Those who fly to a country that is so designated whilst they are there face the same restrictions unless they can cut short their holiday and make it back home before the onset of the quarantine requirements.

Now I personally wouldn’t contemplate travelling abroad whilst the pandemic prevails but hundreds of thousands of English folk do. Many of these folk do so knowing if they fall foul of the quarantine rules whilst abroad they will be financially out of pocket or maybe even lose their jobs. That aside about 30 other countries such as Germany are now testing at airports with follow up tests and only quarantining those who test positive.

There IS a risk in this. The current globally accepted test for Covid is the RT-PCR ( real time polymerase chain reaction) a test invented in 1985 by Karry Mullins

The risk IS, testing returning holiday makers at airports will only provide about an 8% certainty of those with Covid at that time if they have caught it on holiday. Many will be asymptomatic and showing no signs of Covid till several days after they return. The Government ( understandably) considers that too high a risk ergo no airport testing but quarantine instead.
Quarantine though is financially ruining airports and airlines as well as holiday firms and many other businesses. Many Tory backbenchers and business leaders are calling on the Government to rethink its strategy on quarantine.

Now, here’s the final piece of the puzzle. The testing alternative to quarantine isn’t JUST about tests at the airport. Second tests at the post return 5 day point are 85% accurate and at the 8 day point 96% accurate, according to campaigners and apparently SAGE. This 2 stage testing process is trusted by 30 other countries as previously mentioned.

UK economists calculate the quarantine restrictions cost us  over £650 million per WEEK!
So, my question. Should we stick with quarantine ( each of the 4 UK countries imposing different and confusing restrictions but erring on the side of safety at a huge cost to the economy and holiday makers) OR do as so many other countries do and instigate a 2 step ‘return to England’ testing process.

Thoughts?

 

September 5, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Quarantine Or Airport Testing?

September 5, 2020

With regards Scotland & Wales travellers whinging about the confusion over quarantine regulations being imposed I have little sympathy ; a) they wanted devolved powers, & so blaming Boris for confusing them is wrong - their own authorities made the rules !, and b) anyone risking booking a holiday abroad at this time is asking for trouble - the chances of the hot spots escaping the quarantine rules being imposed is so slight as to be not worth it, plus, the chances of contracting the virus must be increased in such areas, especially with alcohol related "lack of distancing" being observed by idjit revellers - so again, I have little sympathy for those taking the risks. On the airport testing, I tend to agree with the German idea, ie, test on arrival & then again at the 5/8 day point rather than a quarantine period of 14 days. Pro's ; gets the economy moving more quickly and will save thousands of jobs, detailed address info from passports should ensure compliance -  Con's ; the Government's current policy is erring on the side of caution understandably, but there comes a time when risks must be taken to get us back to some form of normality, & IMO, that is to follow the 2 Step policy which, with a good track n trace system, should isolate those infected within a short period of time to prevent the spread. John (JKW)

September 6, 2020

Joined: May 8, 2014
Posts: 1812
Quarantine Or Airport Testing?

September 6, 2020

Don’t forget guys we are dealing with the “ME-ME”generations,you know “ I want IT” so I have to have it . Travelling abroad at the moment is a NO NO ,it’s bad enough living at home with the restrictions laid down to keep the virus under control. Example myself and my granddaughter should now be in Disney Florida,hotel,car Disney park and flight all paid for ,we would had to isolate for 14 days in the USA( so that’s the holiday out the window) then on return another 14 days isolated,thanks to MasterCard etc  we how have not lost our money . This coming January we had booked to go to India ( daily Covid 80000 ) so that would be more dangerous to us old folk,again we have curtailed that holiday . The biggest problem I see living in this 21st century is the media,the medics informed the government then they act ,testing,vaccines,protective kit,public schools,meeting of large crowds etc,pubs whatever,so what the media do (BBC,Sky etc ) they start broadcasting their own agenda confusing the ME-ME lot into doing their own thing . The rate of infection is now 70/80% under the age of 45 ,and who are these people the ones who have to have their holiday,house party etc ,and I’ve not mentioned BLM crowd . So testing at airports yes ,but would they “ self isolate “ if told to,example India closed all foreigners travelling since 23rd March this year ,no flights for non Indians ,but they still have 80k a day infection rate . My own personal rules are to continue what I did when I came back from India in March,the rules then have worked ,we have to remember that the flu of 1918/9 killed millions worldwide. So until they develop a VACCINE this old man ain’t going anywhere foreign or to uncontrolled situations ,mask on .

September 6, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1384
Quarantine Or Airport Testing?

September 6, 2020

I agree with JKW ( and Bob on this point). Non essential travel abroad at present IS high risk. I also have little sympathy with those caught up in restrictions whilst doing so. I personally would not contemplate it! But many others need to do so for business reasons and many firms face going under if the quarantine measures are not revised. The economy cannot sustain prolonged quarantine measures. We haven’t really even begun to witness the onslaught of mass redundancies yet. Wait until furlough finishes next month! We have to adopt a risk aware way of life rather than risk averse one. Many economists and scientists predict the long term mortality figures for Covid RELATED deaths, ie deaths from the effects of Covid measures, will far outweigh the deaths from Covid itself. Were there not reasonable and viable alternatives to quarantine for foreign travel I would support it but there ARE tried and tested alternatives as John points out. As a nation we need to start returning to as normal a way of life as possible whilst not allowing complacency to invoke a second wave of Covid. Other countries are doing so relatively successfully. Our public sector are almost all still on furlough or ‘working’ from home. It has taken us 12 weeks of countless telephone calls and letters, plus 2 formal complaints to receive an answer from HMRC along with a Covid curse apology. The unions are now saying many will never return to their places of work and home working is the new way forward. If our recent experiences talking to ‘home workers’ at HMRC are anything to go by then it’s Goodnight Vienna! Returning to the quarantine issue. If robust 2 stage testing procedures are instigated we might still prevent many redundancies and save firms from bankruptcy. We have to learn to live WITH the virus rather than hide from it. It isn’t by chance our economy has taken the biggest hit from Covid by far. Our borrowing levels  are unprecedented, our national debt is astronomical. The costs of Covid WILL be recovered one way or another. They have to be! At our age we DO have to be extra careful but we will be anyway because we are sensible and cautious.    

September 6, 2020

Joined: May 8, 2014
Posts: 1812
Quarantine Or Airport Testing?

September 6, 2020

Your right David we can’t keep hiding from this virus otherwise the world that we know is kaput. My son in Germany has been working from home since the lockdown in Germany,my 2 grandsons have either still attended school or university in Frankfurt. I’m not saying the Germans are more sensible than the population of Ireland or the UK so why has this last summer not been so damaging as the UK ,me thinks they are obeying the advice from their medics . Businesses are going through a bad time due to cash flow ,and the online purchases has kept some with their head above water,Amazon being one of the top of my head. Ireland has been pushing “ staycations “ allowing holidays etc on the isle ,thus keeping the small businesses going as opposed to the likes of large chain stores ( who were in trouble before this virus) closing and losing thousands of jobs . If we all sing from the same hymn sheet we can beat this pandemic.

September 6, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1286
Quarantine Or Airport Testing?

September 6, 2020

The best saying I've heard in a long while "We have to learn to live WITH the virus rather than hide from it" - absolutely spot on on David, although there maybe too many idjits who will take that to extremes, but the vast majority of sensible folk will understand it's meaning. With regards telephoning HMRC, I have found exactly the same problems with most firms I've contacted recently ; lengthy "on hold" periods, even cutting off after a set time, "email is better but we'll take a few days to reply", "Don't email because there's no one available to reply", "Our FAQ's will answer all your queries" (they don't), plus of course the standard "Your call is important to us" etc. The blame is always put on Covid, so the sooner all get back to their normal place of work, the better ! I personally think the new normal is here, because firms realise they can save money by closing expensive office space / call centres & employ people from home, who in turn will save time / money by not commuting - the Green Brigade will support that too of course, "less toxic emissions", although rail / bus / taxi companies will go bust. Good Customer Service seems a thing of the past. What a world we now live in, this Covid-19 has turned the world upside down & ruined so many lives & livelihoods . John (JKW)


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