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19th July Lockdown Easing - Observations and Compliance

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island

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What is the mask situation with Manchester Metrolink? Last thing I heard was they were going to try and make them compulsory. Did they? Merseyside Metro Mayor admitted he wanted to make them compulsory but admitted he couldn't.
I believe it is the same situation as TfL – purported to be a condition of carriage, so the only remedy for non-wearing is being told to put one on or get off the tram.
 
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Crossover

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Very high mask compliance on the GA service into Liverpool Street right now possibly in part due to the fact they’re still saying masks are bloody required on their recorded announcements.
When I was travelling on GA last week, I found there were some very strongly worded announcements by some of the guards, which went above and beyond what I gathered to be the script. As others have alluded, there are a few staff putting their own slant on things
“Sheep syndrome” seems highly prevalent in London; people actively look at what others are doing and follow the majority. I’ve seen it a few times on trains and even in pubs where people put a mask on as they board/enter and then remove it within a couple of seconds when they realise nobody else is wearing one.
Agreed. I was on a train to Kings Lynn last week and on the table opposite was a couple who were both masked as we left Ely. By Watlington, both were unmasked
 

Class 33

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Very high mask compliance on the GA service into Liverpool Street right now possibly in part due to the fact they’re still saying masks are bloody required on their recorded announcements.

Can't believe that a number of conductors on train services are still putting out these ridiculous announcements such as "You must wear face masks at all times" or even "It is a legal requirement to wear face masks at all times on our trains". It is an absolute disgrace. I also can't believe that a very high number of people on such services as the one you were one are adhering to these nonsense announcements. If I was on that train and heard such announcements I'd just tut and shake my head, and continue to not wear a face mask, even if I was the only person on the whole train not wearing a face mask. I wouldn't have one on me just in case anyway as they've been no longer required since 19th July!
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Travelled on Merseyrail and TPE yesterday (first rail trip for 18 months).
Trains initially fairly empty (car park about 25% full instead of the pre-covid 95%), but filled up later.
Mask-wearing about 50%, increasing where more crowded (eg navigating Liverpool Lime St).
Felt distinctly uncomfortable returning on Merseyrail on a crowded 3-car Chester 507 (6-car trains were on quieter Ellesmere Port services!).
But nothing as bad as TfW's Manchester-Llandudno services (2-car 175s), which had standees in all doorways.
I masked up wherever I couldn't have a seat bay to myself, and others seemed to be doing much the same.
The only railway-supplied sanitizer facility I found was a rack of dispensers on the concourse at Lime St - none on trains.
Meanwhile every retail outlet has them.
 

RPI

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Travelled on Merseyrail and TPE yesterday (first rail trip for 18 months).
Trains initially fairly empty (car park about 25% full instead of the pre-covid 95%), but filled up later.
Mask-wearing about 50%, increasing where more crowded (eg navigating Liverpool Lime St).
Felt distinctly uncomfortable returning on Merseyrail on a crowded 3-car Chester 507 (6-car trains were on quieter Ellesmere Port services!).
But nothing as bad as TfW's Manchester-Llandudno services (2-car 175s), which had standees in all doorways.
I masked up wherever I couldn't have a seat bay to myself, and others seemed to be doing much the same.
The only railway-supplied sanitizer facility I found was a rack of dispensers on the concourse at Lime St - none on trains.
Meanwhile every retail outlet has them.
Surely its wise to take your own sanitizer? Certainly I do (even pre covid) as you never know when you may need it
 

takno

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Surely its wise to take your own sanitizer? Certainly I do (even pre covid) as you never know when you may need it
This is definitely the best plan. In general, the more time people spend out and about, the safer they feel and the less time they spend worrying about things like sanitiser at every touch point. Given the research suggests that spread of Covid via touch is absolutely minimal, it's important that companies are able to reduce the expense and intrusion into everyday life. Carrying your own sanitiser neatly solves this, and eliminates any risk that the sanitiser provided is not up to scratch, or that you catch something from touching the shared sanitiser.
 

DustyBin

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This is definitely the best plan. In general, the more time people spend out and about, the safer they feel and the less time they spend worrying about things like sanitiser at every touch point. Given the research suggests that spread of Covid via touch is absolutely minimal, it's important that companies are able to reduce the expense and intrusion into everyday life. Carrying your own sanitiser neatly solves this, and eliminates any risk that the sanitiser provided is not up to scratch, or that you catch something from touching the shared sanitiser.

Even pre-covid I carried sanitiser a lot of the time, certainly on longer journeys. I used to make sure I didn’t over use it though, only really prior to eating if I’d been touching a lot of surfaces and couldn’t wash my hands anywhere.
 

trebor79

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Travelled by train for the first time in a few weeks this morning. GA to Ely and then EMR to Sleaford.
Pleased to see the blue "You must wear a face covering" stickers on the 755 have been replaced by less in your face grey "Please wear a face covering" (though I'd prefer them not to be there at all, at least they are now more easily ignored).
Masked couple sat at the table opposite mine had a hushed conversation as I sat down. Guard came round checking tickets, they asked him quietly if masks were mandatory "No, not mandatory at all it's a personal choice. But whilst I'm here could I ask you to take your shoes off the seats opposite" :D.
There were no announcements, manual or automated, about masks on any of the three services I used this morning.
Have to say I was surprised at the number of people choosing to mask, seems to have increased since August. And many many people masking on the open air platforms at Ely. Their choice I suppose.
 

Crossover

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Even pre-covid I carried sanitiser a lot of the time, certainly on longer journeys. I used to make sure I didn’t over use it though, only really prior to eating if I’d been touching a lot of surfaces and couldn’t wash my hands anywhere.
I also carried some, mainly because the toilets on trains weren't best known for having a good and reliable water supply!

Can't believe that a number of conductors on train services are still putting out these ridiculous announcements such as "You must wear face masks at all times" or even "It is a legal requirement to wear face masks at all times on our trains". It is an absolute disgrace. I also can't believe that a very high number of people on such services as the one you were one are adhering to these nonsense announcements. If I was on that train and heard such announcements I'd just tut and shake my head, and continue to not wear a face mask, even if I was the only person on the whole train not wearing a face mask. I wouldn't have one on me just in case anyway as they've been no longer required since 19th July!

I had one on GA last week which was very pointed - on the Sherringham train ‘whilst it is no longer mandatory, we advise passenger keep a face mask about their person to use on busy stations and trains…like this one’

Whilst I don't have too much of an issue with the first bit (which I think is GA standard script), I do with the added bit, and I wonder how much it contributed to more masking!
 
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greyman42

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Unable to socially distance, with some passengers unmasked.
Exactly the conditions where Merseyrail recommends masks.
Until case rates reduce, I will be avoiding crowded trains where I can.
That is up to you but for how much longer are you going to carry on living like this?
 

bramling

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That is up to you but for how much longer are you going to carry on living like this?

Dodging Covid simply isn't a viable option any more. The government hasn't been honest with people - many people remain under the impression that the various measures are the government helping them "stay safe". This isn't the case, and hasn't been the case for a very long time. The measures are entirely about avoiding too many live cases at the same time.
 

DustyBin

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Unable to socially distance, with some passengers unmasked.
Exactly the conditions where Merseyrail recommends masks.
Until case rates reduce, I will be avoiding crowded trains where I can.

Far be it from me to tell you what to do(!) but unless you are vulnerable you have little to fear, especially if you're vaccinated. There's a danger here that peoples quality of life and mental health suffer as they feel unsafe doing things they enjoy, purely as a result of government messaging rather than scientific reality. This may not apply to you course, however I believe it's a serious issue in general.
 

trebor79

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Unable to socially distance, with some passengers unmasked.
Exactly the conditions where Merseyrail recommends masks.
Until case rates reduce, I will be avoiding crowded trains where I can.
Case rates in England are collapsing again, down about 20% for 7 days in a row on a day of the week basis.
The pandemic is over in the UK, barring some significantly vaccine evading variant, which so far does not exist.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Case rates in England are collapsing again, down about 20% for 7 days in a row on a day of the week basis.
The pandemic is over in the UK, barring some significantly vaccine evading variant, which so far does not exist.
That's after 4 months of persistent rises to 40K/day, and local 7-day rates around 500 per 100K in many areas (higher in Wales and NI, much higher in the Scottish central belt).
Good to see rates in most of England declining though, especially in previous hot spots.
Wales for some reason is now a hot area. Local hospitals have closed wards because of internal covid spreads.
If we get through the returning-student phase without another peak I will be happier.
 

trebor79

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I wouldn't characterise it as 4 months of persistent rises. We always knew there would be an exit wave, and it's been nowhere as bad as the doomsters predicted "dangerous and unethical experiment" "risk tot he whole world" indeed.
Cases don't matter anymore, it's hospital capacity that's the only important measure. Cases in students and school kids will put almost zero pressure on the NHS.
 

Bikeman78

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Travelled by train for the first time in a few weeks this morning. GA to Ely and then EMR to Sleaford.
Pleased to see the blue "You must wear a face covering" stickers on the 755 have been replaced by less in your face grey "Please wear a face covering" (though I'd prefer them not to be there at all, at least they are now more easily ignored).
Masked couple sat at the table opposite mine had a hushed conversation as I sat down. Guard came round checking tickets, they asked him quietly if masks were mandatory "No, not mandatory at all it's a personal choice. But whilst I'm here could I ask you to take your shoes off the seats opposite" :D.
There were no announcements, manual or automated, about masks on any of the three services I used this morning.
Have to say I was surprised at the number of people choosing to mask, seems to have increased since August. And many many people masking on the open air platforms at Ely. Their choice I suppose.
It seems to reduce as the day goes on. Early this morning most people had a mask. On the wedged pair of 321s on the 1715 to Southend (7 people standing in the vestibule with me) it was 50% at best.

Dodging Covid simply isn't a viable option any more. The government hasn't been honest with people - many people remain under the impression that the various measures are the government helping them "stay safe". This isn't the case, and hasn't been the case for a very long time. The measures are entirely about avoiding too many live cases at the same time.
My view is that if it gets me, so be it. Statistically it's not very likely and I think I'd have suffered by now if it were going to happen.
 

brad465

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I've just got back from cycling Land's End to John O'Groats as part of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain event, with around 900 participants plus over 100 staff involved over 9 days between large campsites setup. We're nicknamed the "RAB bubble", but by an unfortunate coincidence this name pre-dated Covid. Here are some key takeaways with regards to covid and this event, good and bad from an anti-restriction point of view:

-Valid Covid Pass was required to participate, perhaps justifiable in the sense a number of international travellers were present and the group size was relatively large, but would have preferred them not to have them.
-Mask wearing was compulsory on transfers, however these were organised by a different company so was probably their policy; at all the 9 basecamps mask wearing was practically non-existent and not a requirement. In my case I only needed to wear a mask on a transfer from Penzance station to Land's End, and from John O'Groats back to Inverness, although some riders who needed a broom wagon ride may have had to wear them then.
-Social Distancing was virtually non-existent; physical contact may have been more limited, but at the same time not everyone knew many others until the event was underway, but at dinner tables and queuing for food there definitely was no distancing. The organisers originally tried to limit/avoid a breakfast buffet service and have queuing for everything due to covid, but this was ditched when the breakfast times were taking too long in the morning and leading to delayed ride starts.

-In the past visitors were allowed to basecamps after each day for a few hours, but, with the exception of at John O'Groats, this wasn't permitted this year, which was disappointing news for many involved. However lining the route was still allowed and someone I know visited me in Bath without any trouble.
-Hand sanitizer was very prevalent at basecamps and had to be applied at pit stops before collecting refreshments.
-As far as I'm aware no Covid outbreaks were identified during this event among those involved. However there was a notable outbreak of D&V, which caused problems for those affected and some isolation facilities had to be setup.
 

trebor79

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It seems to reduce as the day goes on. Early this morning most people had a mask. On the wedged pair of 321s on the 1715 to Southend (7 people standing in the vestibule with me) it was 50% at best.
Yes, I noticed on my way back this afternoon/evening there was a more even split of masked and unmasked. Still a fair few wearing them on platforms, including one chap at Ely stood all by himself towards the south end of platform 1. Whatever floats your boat I guess
 

MikeWM

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Yes, I noticed on my way back this afternoon/evening there was a more even split of masked and unmasked. Still a fair few wearing them on platforms, including one chap at Ely stood all by himself towards the south end of platform 1. Whatever floats your boat I guess

Ely is still close to being mask-central I'm afraid (though Cambridge is worse). Though things have improved in this regard quite a lot since July, believe it or not.
 

trebor79

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Ely is still close to being mask-central I'm afraid (though Cambridge is worse). Though things have improved in this regard quite a lot since July, believe it or not.
It doesn't really bother me so long as I'm not forced to wear one (though I definitely don't like seeing other people wearing them). I did giggle inwardly when the couple this morning tried to dob me in to the guard for being unmasked only to end up being told off for having their feet on the seats.
Thinking about it, none of the staff at Ely today were masked, I think that's a first. And neither were any of the staff in the shop or cafe. It's definitely getting better. Sooner or later passengers will realise the discomfort is futile, but it's taking longer than I thought.
 

J-2739

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It doesn't really bother me so long as I'm not forced to wear one (though I definitely don't like seeing other people wearing them). I did giggle inwardly when the couple this morning tried to dob me in to the guard for being unmasked only to end up being told off for having their feet on the seats.
Where do you find these people?? :lol:
 

initiation

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First time into the office since last September and my first time commuting on a train to work since 17th March 2020 (when I had to carry my monitor screens home with me).

Most people getting on with it. Masks definitely in the minority, perhaps 1/3rd of people wearing one. I was disappointed to hear an automated announcement at Temple Meads that we 'should wear masks for the courtesy of others unless exempt'...err... there are no exemptions as there is no rule. The pasty shop behind Temple Meads was persisting with the useless face shields but nevermind.
 

102 fan

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That's after 4 months of persistent rises to 40K/day, and local 7-day rates around 500 per 100K in many areas (higher in Wales and NI, much higher in the Scottish central belt).
Good to see rates in most of England declining though, especially in previous hot spots.
Wales for some reason is now a hot area. Local hospitals have closed wards because of internal covid spreads.
If we get through the returning-student phase without another peak I will be happier.

Wh are the rates larger in the areas with restrictions?
 

OuterDistant

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Train to work this morning for the first time in a month. Standing room only, plenty in the vestibules, majority of passengers were college students now we're back in term time.

Very few mask users, possibly 5% or lower.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Why are the rates larger in the areas with restrictions?
I've no idea.
Wales overall is now up to 500 (7-day rate per 100K), which I'm pretty sure is the highest ever here (Eng/Scot/NI have had worse).
St Asaph (a tiny town near the coast) has a rate of 1021.
For months now North Wales has had high case rates, and they have now spread to south/west Wales, even in predominantly rural areas which previously only had very low rates.
Might be the big influx of visitors over the summer (many in caravans or tents).
Beaches/cafes were very crowded.
The NHS is struggling with Covid and the increasing backlog of non-Covid cases.
Vaccination is ahead of England's rates.
 

trebor79

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I've no idea.
Wales overall is now up to 500 (7-day rate per 100K), which I'm pretty sure is the highest ever here (Eng/Scot/NI have had worse).
St Asaph (a tiny town near the coast) has a rate of 1021.
For months now North Wales has had high case rates, and they have now spread to south/west Wales, even in predominantly rural areas which previously only had very low rates.
Might be the big influx of visitors over the summer (many in caravans or tents).
Beaches/cafes were very crowded.
The NHS is struggling with Covid and the increasing backlog of non-Covid cases.
Vaccination is ahead of England's rates.
If case rates have historically been lower than average it'll be largely driven by an immunity deficit compared to the rest of the country and this being "caught up" as the economy opens up and more people move round. This is inevitable given the vaccine efficacy and coverage can never be 100%. We can expect these anomalies as the exit wave plays out and we reach endemic state.
Beaches etc are not large drivers of infection. As Chris Whitty said some months ago "You'd really have to try quite hard to get infected outdoors".
 

greyman42

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My view is that if it gets me, so be it. Statistically it's not very likely and I think I'd have suffered by now if it were going to happen.
It may well "get" you but unless you have an underlying health problem, then you will probably feel rubbish for about a week, or perhaps even terrible as i did, and then get better. It was no worse than real flu so no big deal really.
 

Bungle73

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Just had one of my occasional cycle trips to Faversham, where there is a nice ancient pub I that know, for a pub lunch. Pleased to report that it's pretty much back to normal. Almost no one wearing masks, apart from a handful of customers, back to ordering at the bar, and sit where you like rather than being seated. Even the screens between tables had gone (at least where I was sitting), although there was still a screen by the till at the bar, but everyone seemed to be ignoring it.

Slightly annoying though, because they still had the "Wait here to be seated" signs up at the entrance, so I was stood there like a lemon because I haven't been there for a while, and didn't realise that stuff had gone.

I entered wearing a mask because, since I hadn't been in a while so didn't know what was expected, but I ditched it as soon as I saw no one wearing one and that they weren't required.
 
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