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Topic: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)  (Read 578 times)

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New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« on: March 23, 2021, 11:20:51 AM »
Hi all,

Another 1 step forward 2 steps back news announcement.

Very frustrating they've done a blanket travel ban. All you see in the news is justification for it by purely using European countries and specific countries like Brazil as the reasoning.

Maybe this is just a vent but it's unfair on:
1) people who are going to see family and be staying at one residence (i.e. not 'holidaying').
2) countries who are doing well in their vaccination rollouts.

Very unfair to put countries such as Israel in the same category as India or Brazil.

We booked flights to USA for 11th June thinking we'll give four weeks buffer from 17th May (the theoretical date all travel was to be allowed).

Annoying to hear science will get us out of this but then travel between two countries who have great vaccination rates is now banned until 30th June.
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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2021, 12:23:12 PM »
The problem is that the current vaccinations in use may not be effective against some of these variants.  So you could have two countries with exceptionally high vaccination uptake, but still have a variant running unchecked through the populations because the vaccinations do very little against that particular strain.  And a similar issue exists for past infection and immunity. 

It's very frustrating, but unfortunately, it is what it is.  At the start of the pandemic, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread locally.  She's gone through multiple surgeries, rounds of chemo and radiation - and all by herself.  I've been absolutely gutted I couldn't travel to see her and support her, but it just wasn't safe.  (and then I became poorly, but that's another story) 

I had been hoping I could see her this year at least, but realistically, I don't think it's going to happen.  :(


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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2021, 12:45:01 PM »
I so feel for anyone unable to visit dear family. I'm thankful beyond belief that I don't have that to deal with.  :-\\\\





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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2021, 01:05:46 PM »
The problem is that the current vaccinations in use may not be effective against some of these variants.  So you could have two countries with exceptionally high vaccination uptake, but still have a variant running unchecked through the populations because the vaccinations do very little against that particular strain.  And a similar issue exists for past infection and immunity. 

It's very frustrating, but unfortunately, it is what it is.  At the start of the pandemic, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread locally.  She's gone through multiple surgeries, rounds of chemo and radiation - and all by herself.  I've been absolutely gutted I couldn't travel to see her and support her, but it just wasn't safe.  (and then I became poorly, but that's another story) 

I had been hoping I could see her this year at least, but realistically, I don't think it's going to happen.  :(

I understand the variant concern however science will always be behind the virus no matter what. If there's a variant that evades the vaccine it is going to spread worldwide as a matter of when, not if. I'm frustrated because as it stands, a fully vaccinated person is now banned from visiting a country such as Israel which has 80% of its adult population vaccinated. This is a perfect scenario that government officials have said is our way out of this and yet there is a ban against it. It's counter their argument. To put a blanket ban on worldwide travel to me is ridiculous as that means you're treating countries all the same.

Yes, I'm venting so all logic can be skewed in my head but there needs to be a level where a certain amount of deaths becomes acceptable, like the flu. We cannot be stuck in lockdowns when any new variants come along. Please don't interpret this a me not showing appreciation for this virus as I'm quite the opposite but the world needs to reach a point where we have to learn to live with it.

I just think it's unfair that you're allowed to travel for business reasons but visiting family is seen as non-essential. I would argue they're equal, and maybe visiting family more important. My interpretation is that it's to deter people purely going abroad for pleasure reasons, such as going to resorts, out drinking/partying etc. Visiting family to me is essential and should be allowed.

Also Aquila I want to say that's terrible what you and your mother has gone through. I hope she's now out the other side?
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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2021, 07:22:56 PM »
It sucks but I’m very glad they have done it!  But I do forecasting/statistics for a living.  So needed if you ask me.

In my opinion, the USA should be on the red list but I don’t make the rules... 


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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2021, 11:14:50 AM »
I'm very interested in your reasoning KF so please expand/explain (sorry, I can't make that sound not sarcastic but I assure you it's genuine curiosity haha).

Also, any statistics on the Grand National horses would be appreciated  ;D ;)
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2021, 12:57:55 PM »
Yes, the US and U.K. are both doing well with vaccination programmes. But this is a GLOBAL pandemic. And while both countries are vaccinating, both countries still look crap from a numbers perspective.

And most importantly the virus has already mutated outside vaccine effectiveness. Which is why we are locked down while they are trying to get us vaccinated.  To prevent the mutations.  The US does VERY little genetic testing.  And they are giving people false hope that if they are vaccinated, nothing bad can happen.  Catch the wrong strain..  The U.K. at least recognises that the current vaccine isn’t the final vaccine. The US is a bit “oh we will get the vaccine seasonally” but not really aware of the mutations.

US is light blue. This is NOT almost over. I bet we are halfway through.  Hopefully we are halfway through (the pandemic).
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 04:02:06 PM by KFdancer »


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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2021, 02:46:51 PM »
Just to add (I'm a research support librarian, so see questions like this and think, well, lots of sources out there and I'm going to find them....)

It isn't the flu and isn't yet at the point where we can live with it:
https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsduetocoronaviruscovid19comparedwithdeathsfrominfluenzaandpneumoniaenglandandwales/deathsoccurringbetween1januaryand31august2020

Roughly, ONS data says that: In comparison with the deaths due to influenza and pneumonia occurring in the year to 31 August 2020, deaths due to COVID-19 have been higher than every year monthly data are available (1959 to 2020).

And: Influenza and pneumonia was mentioned on more death certificates than COVID-19, however COVID-19 was the underlying cause of death in over three times as many deaths between January and August 2020.

In the USA, it's getting worse.  Pick your state for the 'bad' news:
Michigan: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/24/michigan-covid-coronavirus-cases-hospitalizations-surge-vaccine
Pennsylvania: https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/live/covid-coroanvirus-updates-vaccine-stimulus-philadelphia-pa-nj-20210322.html

You're in the same area as me (Wirral, I'm in Liverpool.) Covid accounted for 20% of ALL deaths.  All deaths.  That's nuts.  That's not the flu: https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/one-every-five-deaths-liverpool-20235829

We all want to visit family, wish there was a cool way to transport us to the USA and bypass other people to make it happen.  But it's not essential.  In our heads, of course.  But for a national/international policy? No.   Is it fair? No.  But if they say visiting family is essential, in the same vein as business, you could have millions of people justifying their trips over thousands.

It's just not safe yet.  The vaccination rate is encouraging-trust me, I've been eyeing up flights as my family members in the USA get vaccinated and me, too.  We're so close.  We just have to wait, get vaccinated if/when we can and hope these policies help (not with this government but that's another story....)




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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2021, 04:11:03 PM »
I'm definitely with you on the venting.  It sucks SO MUCH - especially for those living far apart who don't have many opportunities in the first place to see each other, so in-person time together becomes precious and treasured.  But as much as I am frustrated, the travel restrictions are understandable and unfortunately still necessary.  I don't mean to diminish your frustration (apologies if that's how it came across; trust me - I'm frustrated too!), but to offer some explanation as to why we're still being "held hostage" as my uncle likes to say. 

My mom was able to get through alright (thanks for asking :) ), but I still feel terribly guilty I couldn't be there for even one day of her treatment and recovery.  It was definitely hard for her, and she phoned or Skyped me multiple times in tears, not wanting to go on.  She's separated from my dad, her brother lives in another country as well, and I'm an only-child - so she was truly alone throughout the process.  She doesn't blame anyone because it was what it was, but I still feel like sh*t that I wasn't there.  I promised her that when the world opens again and everyone's doing better, I'm taking her to DisneyWorld since I know she secretly wants to go.

And for a little bit of science...

One of the problems comparing influenza and COVID-19 is that influenza has been circulating in humans for a long time and COVID-19 is completely new.  With influenza, even with new strains, many people will still have a degree of partial protection with their "old" antibodies from previous annual vaccinations and/or repeated exposures/infections.  This is especially true for the CA09 strain, which appears to be especially likely to induce an immune response and antibodies that will cross-react with variants.  (Wrammert et. al. 2011 and Nachbagaur et. al. 2017)  In contrast, COVID-19 is totally new, and no one has any level of protection from previous infection/exposure/vaccination.

A similar phenomenon may be observed with COVID-19 in the future, but it's too early to tell.  In Denmark, a study was performed that has actually suggested that after natural infection, chances of reinfection is still relatively high for older people (though not for younger people).  The scientists found that after 6 months of initial infection, young people appeared to have ~80% protection against a repeat infection.  However, for those >65 years, this protection was only ~47%. (Hansen et. al. 2021)  So, good news for younger people, but less good for elderly. [smiley=sa3.gif]  I suspect the hope/expectation is that vaccination (as opposed to natural infection) will produce more robust and longstanding protection across all age groups. 

And as KFdancer has mentioned, one of the reasons for trying to lessen movement of people is to try and prevent the virus from having ample opportunities to further mutate and potentially acquire a mutation that is particularly nasty for us (be that evasion of our immune response, significant increases in transmissibility and/or disease severity, and so on). 

Wrammert et. al. 2011
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21220454/

Nachbagauer et. al. 2017
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28192418/

Hansen et. al. 2021
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33743221/


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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2021, 04:20:12 PM »
In the USA, it's getting worse.  Pick your state for the 'bad' news:
Michigan: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/24/michigan-covid-coronavirus-cases-hospitalizations-surge-vaccine
Pennsylvania: https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/live/covid-coroanvirus-updates-vaccine-stimulus-philadelphia-pa-nj-20210322.html

I have friends in PA - they are saying that PA (at least, their region) hasn't even finished vaccinating healthcare workers yet.  Not to mention elderly people, people in other essential services, or clinically vulnerable people.  The timeframe for getting vaccinated as a regular person?  Nobody knows!


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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2021, 07:41:17 PM »
Yes I want you both to know that I am definitely not comparing flu to covid. Complete opposite ends of the scale in terms of viruses. I regularly remind people they're not the same. I was simply saying there is an acceptable death toll with flu to get on with our lives as suppose to being in lockdown due to it. We will have to reach this point with covid or people will continue to be in poverty. I'm not saying right now is that point, either.

I read something recently that they think the common cold (being a coronavirus) started the same way 200 years ago as covid has recently. Older people died of it and the young came off relatively unscathed. Fast forward and those young grew old and held immunity from severe consequences of it and it's continued like that for decades now to be known as the illness we all know it as today. I'm not sure how true the article was but very interesting if it turned out to be true.

My wife's family live in PA and her mother has now only just received her vaccine today. She's 65 and extremely vulnerable. But that's not as bad as health workers not receiving their shot. I'm being told in PA it's all online so the older folk who have no access to the internet have been finding it hard to book themselves in.
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
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25/02/2014 - Married
29/04/2014 - Spouse Application Approved
02/05/2014 - Visa Received
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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2021, 09:54:51 PM »
Yes I want you both to know that I am definitely not comparing flu to covid. Complete opposite ends of the scale in terms of viruses. I regularly remind people they're not the same. I was simply saying there is an acceptable death toll with flu to get on with our lives as suppose to being in lockdown due to it. We will have to reach this point with covid or people will continue to be in poverty. I'm not saying right now is that point, either.

It's easy to say we have to learn to live with covid, and that there must be an acceptable death toll when you're speaking abstractly.  But when we start pointing at who should die to save the economy, it becomes a bit unappealing, doesn't it?  Should your mother in law have died to save the economy?  Is that acceptable to you?  Most of us are, or are attached to someone else who is, that expendable person.  (In my household, I'd be the person with "pre-existing conditions" that make me particularly vulnerable, so I'd have to go to save the economy.  Yay, commerce!) 

But the government agrees with you.  That's why the lockdowns are start-stop.  They want to keep the economy going as much as possible.  They are only doing just enough to control the virus so that our medical system can keep up with cases and continue to provide some level of care to non-covid cases as well.  Their biggest goal is to prevent a repeat of the level of hospitalizations that put cancer care and routine medical treatment at risk while protecting the economy as best they could.  The irony is if they had done a harder lockdown, implemented earlier, they potentially could have starved the virus of bodies to infect, and it would've saved lives and the economy.  C'est la vie.
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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2021, 08:41:53 AM »
I didn't say now. I said there has to be a point. How can this be disagreed with as covid will not be going away for at least 10 years (if at all)? A counter argument would be at what point do you feel the economy should re-open and we get on with 'normality'? When the most of the adult population is vaccinated? I would probably agree with that. But, there are still going to be deaths for those that unfortunately slip through the statistical gaps in vaccine efficacy. Do we go into lockdown when this happens? Probably not. That is then the acceptable level.

I'm not an economist or 'all for the economy' at all but there are dire long-term consequences of the economy being shut down. Poverty, joblessness, severe national debt (potentially causing issues with pensions, benefits etc), large scale mental health issues, development and long-lasting social issues for children. This isn't my argument for just opening up now but I'm just saying these are also factors that need to be considered and balanced for when cases and deaths continue to be driven down and a weighted approach needs to be adopted.

It's lose-lose.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 08:44:28 AM by Ben1989 »
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2021, 09:40:28 AM »
Well, it's as I said.  The answer is we learn to live with the acceptable losses when the hospital treatment demand will be restricted to manageable levels.  As long as we have a functioning medical system, society can carry on.  Right now, when we let our foot off the brake, numbers surge and the NHS gets overwhelmed.  So we go back to lockdown.
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: New Covid Travel Law (March 2021)
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2021, 10:02:36 AM »
Well, it's as I said.  The answer is we learn to live with the acceptable losses when the hospital treatment demand will be restricted to manageable levels.  As long as we have a functioning medical system, society can carry on.  Right now, when we let our foot off the brake, numbers surge and the NHS gets overwhelmed.  So we go back to lockdown.

Yes I totally agree with that. The vaccine will be a strong suppressant and as KF said it's the theory of suppress it so the strain development pool is reduced.
15/03/2013 - Met in Cancun
29/11/2013 - Engaged
25/02/2014 - Married
29/04/2014 - Spouse Application Approved
02/05/2014 - Visa Received
09/01/2017 - FLR(M) Granted
06/06/2017 - Little Nipper born
22/07/2019 - ILR Granted


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